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Man charged in sexual assault at group home

A man living in a Cottage Grove group home for people with memory loss allegedly forced a fellow resident with advanced dementia to have sex with him.

Washington County prosecutors last week charged 68-year-old Alfred R. Knight with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the alleged Dec. 13 incident. Group home operators said Knight is "high-functioning and intelligent but is possibly in the early stages of dementia."

A criminal complaint states that Knight admitted to police that he had sexual intercourse with the 50-year-old woman, but that they "had an agreement."

"When we looked at it, we considered that he knew the difference between right and wrong," said Cottage Grove police investigator Greg Malcolm.

According to the complaint:

An operator of the residential group home on Ingleside Avenue reported that she walked into the home's kitchen around 3 a.m. Dec. 13 to get a drink of water. There is a closed-circuit camera in the female resident's bedroom, with the camera monitor in the kitchen. The group home operator said she witnessed on the monitor a man in the room with part of his body exposed. She said she immediately went to the room and allegedly observed Knight having sexual intercourse with the female resident, who has "advanced Alzheimer's dementia and is not very communicative or aware of her surroundings."

When told to leave the bedroom, Knight allegedly tried to cover up the woman and walked out of the room without wearing any pants. The two residents had separate rooms.

In a police interview, the woman identified the suspect and told an officer what occurred. "It was bad," she said in the interview.

The complaint says Knight admitted to a police officer that he had sexual intercourse with the woman, but also said, "I won't go in there again."

Knight was booked into Washington County Jail. He has a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 6.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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