A Minnesota man who was once pardoned after fathering a child with a 14-year-old girl is now accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl.
Jeremy Giefer, 47, of St. Peter, “did wrongfully, unlawfully an willingly engage in nonconsensual sexual contact” with a 13-year-old girl who was at his house on Aug. 30, according to a warrant issued for his arrest last week. The document goes on to explain that the conduct was observed by another 13-year-old girl who is “a family or household member” of Giefer’s. The victim was apparently at the household to visit this family member and stayed overnight with her.
The warrant details how Giefer allegedly groped and spanked his victim before sending her suggestive text messages throughout the night. At one point, the victim and witness say he tried to enter their room — but he was dissuaded by a locked door.
This is not the first time Giefer has been accused of such conduct.
In the early ’90s, he was jailed for 45 days after he was found guilty of having sex with a 14-year-old. He was 19 at the time. He was later pardoned in 2008 by a three-person board that included then Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, then Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, and Eric Magnuson, who was the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court at the time. The board looked kindly on Giefer because he had married the girl he was convicted for sleeping with and she supported the pardon.
The board “voted unanimously to pardon this 1994 conviction because it involved sexual conduct between two people who became husband and wife, maintained a long-term marriage, had a family together, and because the defendant completed his sentence many years before seeking the pardon which his wife and others supported,” Pawlenty spokesman Bruce Gordon told the Associated Press in 2010.
However, later charges alleged that Giefer was involved in sexual abuse of a minor even as Pawlenty’s board pardoned him. Although those charges were dropped when the victim recanted her story, they created a situation that was described by Politico’s Ben Smith as “the story every governor fears.”
Giefer now faces four separate counts of criminal sexual conduct ranging from the second to fifth degree. If found guilty on all charges, he could face up to 46 years in prison.