Minneapolis man charged in two sexual assaults and is suspected in others

Monday, March 25, 2019

A Minneapolis man has been charged in one rape and robbery, an attempted rape and robbery and is a suspect in three others, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced at a news conference Monday.

Kenyatta Buckles, 24, was charged Friday with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault. Thursday Buckles was charged with one count of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault in another case. Bail was set at $750,000.

“This comes to us through great police work,” Freeman said at the news conference. “We think we put together a strong complaint and if we prove it, he will be looking at real time.”

According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 20, a 911 caller reported a woman screaming near 2206 Clinton Ave. S. and while on the phone, the victim approached the caller and said she had just escaped from a man who put a knife to her throat.

The victim told police that a man calling himself Rodney contacted her through the megapersonals.com website and arranged to meet him in South Minneapolis. She drove with him to the area of East 22nd Street and Fourth Avenue South near a road closed sign. At that point, Buckles pulled a knife, held it to the woman’s throat and demanded money or sex. The woman said she did not have any money, the complaint states.

Buckles was distracted for a moment, so the woman was able to run from the car. Buckles caught her, punched her in the face and threw her to the ground. He then placed his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, but she bit his hand, and was able to run away screaming, according to the complaint.

As police walked her back to her car, they found a knife on the ground she identified as the knife Buckles pulled on her. Her car was gone, but police found it in a nearby alley. Both her wallet and cell phone were missing, the complaint states.

Minneapolis Police investigators followed up with the victim several hours later and she told them the suspect’s hat was in her car and she had not touched it. The hat was taken for DNA testing and recently the DNA was developed and a match was found with Buckles’ DNA on a convicted offender database, according to the complaint.

“These cases are very intricate to work,” Minneapolis Police Commander Bruce Folkens said. “We are proud of how hard these investigators worked with these victims.”

Then on Feb.10, a woman told police she had arranged to meet “Terrell” through a dating app. She drove to the address he gave at 2103 Second Ave. S. and went into the vestibule and a short time later, Buckles entered from the outside, the complaint states.

He pulled out a knife and put his arm around the woman’s neck and forced her into her car. He demanded money and went through her purse, the complaint states. He then sexually assaulted her and filmed some of it on the woman’s phone. When he fled, he took the woman’s phone and some cash, but left behind the condom he used and the DNA there matched to Buckles.

Prosecutors noted that they will seek to bring in evidence of three other cases where Buckles is the suspect if the case goes to trial. In each case, the suspect contacted the woman through the same or similar websites, used a knife or in one case, a gun, and started by demanding money or valuables. Then the suspect sexually assaulted the woman or attempted to do so, the complaint states. The four cases occurred in November, early January, and last week and they remain under investigation.

Buckles was arrested a short time after the Mar. 18 sexual assault.

“When we had him in custody for the March rape, the DNA came back on the two previous cases,” Freeman said, referring to the January and February cases.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)

Criminal Complaint 2 (PDF)