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Emily Welker, Published February 19 2013

Man arrested in sexual assault wants statements to police suppressed

MOORHEAD – Attorneys for a man accused of physically and sexually assaulting a woman in her car in a Moorhead parking lot last year are asking the judge to suppress statements he made to police.

In documents filed Thursday in Clay County District Court, Richard Lee Haaland’s defense’s attorneys say Moorhead police continued to question Haaland while he was under arrest for the Sept. 6 sexual assault, even after he told them he wanted an attorney.

The memorandum filed in the first-degree criminal sexual conduct case against Haaland, 46, states that about 11:42 on the night of his arrest, after a little more than two hours of interrogation, a detective asked him, “Did you tell Tammy that you envisioned the cops coming, I mean this all happening to you?”

Documents state Haaland replied, “No, I mean I just want a lawyer; I just want a lawyer. I’m being arrested, and I didn’t do it.” The document adds that questioning did not stop after Haaland made his statement.

Haaland is charged in the attack on a Moorhead woman in the parking lot of her apartment building in the early morning hours of Sept. 6 of last year. Police reports state Haaland punched the woman in the face several times, requiring her to undergo surgery.

In an effort to find the assailant, police released surveillance videotape of a man dressed in black in the area where the attack occurred. Acting on tips from the public, and after further investigation, police arrested Haaland on Sept. 21 and searched his home.

A search warrant affidavit stated they found $40,0000 in cash at the home, and Haaland’s passport. He denied having anything to do with the assault.

Haaland was convicted in 1984 of raping a woman who was out for a walk in Becker County, Minn., and sentenced to two years in prison.

Haaland has pleaded not guilty in the sexual assault case and remains free on $100,000 bond with conditions, including that he remain in Minnesota unless he gets written court approval, maintains no contact with the victim and submits to random drug testing.

His case is set for a May 2 trial.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541