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Dad Of Model Allegedly Assaulted By Photographer Speaks Out

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The father of a Minneapolis woman who says she was sexually assaulted while taking modeling photos is speaking out.

He says the accused photographer from Burnsville lied about what really happened.

Court documents say 33-year-old Eric Rutherford contacted the woman on Facebook. Police say he told her she could become a model if she took photos at his home.

“I said to my daughter, I said ‘If you agree to this then I’m OK with it,” the woman’s father said.

Court documents show the woman’s father and mother had met with Rutherford before the photo shoot to make sure it was safe.

“You come to my house, you’re very well suited, you’re nice dressed, which led me on to believe, Hey, this guy might be the successful one to help my daughter proceed in what she wants to do in her life career,” her father said.

The woman told police she felt “dizzy” after drinking water Rutherford gave her, and that she was sexually assaulted by him when she went into the bathroom to change.

The 18-year-old’s father says he was outraged when he heard Rutherford tell WCCO-TV earlier this month that his daughter came onto him.

“She’s not going to falsify anything,” he said. “If he touched her, he touched her.”

Rutherford told the woman’s parents he ran the Eric Modeling Agency. In contrast, he told WCCO-TV he was a hotel manager, just doing the photos for a friend who needed photos for their photography portfolio.

“You got to really know who you’re dealing with now,” the woman’s father said.

Rutherford is due in court on Oct. 1. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines.

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