Duluth Man on Parole for Murder, Now Charged in Kidnapping, Rape


DULUTH, Minn. – A 62-year-old Duluth man currently out on parole for first-degree murder has been charged for the kidnapping and rape of a woman over the weekend in St. Louis County.

Reports state that Dennis John Hannuksela has been charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police the assault happened on Saturday around 1:30 a.m, on a logging road just north of Highway 53 and Swan Lake Road.

According to reports, the victim told investigators that she has known Hannuksela for years and considered him a ‘father figure.’

She had made plans to meet up with him after work, between 12:30 a.m. and 12:50 a.m., so he could dump a couch, and then drive her to Superior to meet up with her friends.

According to the complaint, the victim told authorities that she shared marijuana with Hannuksela on the ride to dump the couch and that he also had margaritas in his truck but she did not want any.

The victim says after Hannuksela dumped the couch and began driving away he “got a strange look and then lunged at her.”

The victim told police that she tried to exit the vehicle and grabbed her phone to call 911 but Hannuksela got out of the truck, came to the passenger side, opened the door, and grabbed her phone before she could dial 911.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told investigators she then grabbed her purse and began running down the road toward Highway 53 however Hannuksela caught up to her and tackled her to the ground.

She told police she started screaming so he let go of her arms to cover her mouth and then zip-tied her hands behind her back.

According to the complaint, the woman said she was begging him to stop but Hannuksela told her “you are going to do what I say” and attempted to remove her underwear.

At this time the victim says Hannuksela took her back to the truck where he forcibly removed her underwear and performed multiple sex acts on her against her will.

The woman told police that Hannuksela pushed her back into the truck and started driving towards Highway 53.

“The Victim said at this point she was pleading with the Defendant to take off the zip ties, but the Defendant told her he could not trust her and said it shouldn’t have happened that way,” the complaint states.

The woman says Hannuksela told her he would buy her a car, get her nails fixed, and would put her on his life insurance.

Hannuksela eventually pulled the vehicle over to cut the zip ties and drove the victim home.

The victim told police she was dropped off at home around 3:30 a.m. where she then changed her clothes and took photos of the injuries on her wrists.

According to the complaint, the woman eventually decided to go to the hospital to report the assault. She had multiple injuries including bruising to her knees and leg.

Investigators went to the logging road and found the couch consistent with the victim’s description of events along with a bag of trash that contained receipts with the victim’s name.

Deputies located Hannuksela in Duluth and detained him for an interview.

According to reports, Hannuksela told authorities that he occasionally used marijuana with the victim and inferred that she uses him for money.

He also told authorities that on May 13 the victim “hit on him by removing her sweatpants and underwear in his car while talking about being friends with benefits.”

He denied being “anywhere in the area of the assault” on May 14 or May 15.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities located zip ties and a pair of women’s black underwear during a search of Hannuksela’s vehicle.

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