MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 22-year-old Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to raping a woman and trying to rape another in one afternoon last October in a downtown Minneapolis parking ramp.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Monday that Peijan Hodges pleaded guilty last week to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He’s expected to get 15 years in prison.
“These are frightening incidents, occurring in public parking ramps during the daylight hours,” said Mike Freeman, the county attorney. “He will now be looking at a long stretch of time off the streets and in prison.”
The crimes happened at within hours of each other in Ramp C on the afternoon of Oct. 7, officials say.
The first one occurred around 2 p.m., when Hodges approached a woman and asked for a dollar. He then grabbed the woman in a bear hug and forced her to the ground between two cars, the attorney’s office said. The woman fought back and a witness just getting off the elevator yelled at Hodges, who then got up and ran away.
The next assault happened around 4:30 p.m., when Hodges followed a woman off the elevator and to her car. When the woman was getting into the driver’s seat, he grabbed the door to stop it from closing. He then forced his way in, took the woman’s keys and pushed her into the back seat, where he raped her.
A witness parked nearby saw the back-seat struggle and got another witness to get help. That’s when Hodges got out of the car and fled. A good Samaritan tried to catch him but was unsuccessful.
Surveillance equipment near the parking ramp spotted Hodges, and police arrested him after he showed up at the parking ramp days later wearing the same clothes. The two victims each independently identified him out of a police lineup.
As part of Hodges’ plea deal, a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge against him was dropped. In that September incident, he allegedly grabbed a woman’s breast in the skyway.
Hodges is slated to be sentenced on March 2.