A 33-year-old Shoreview man accused of videotaping a Bloomington woman he sexually assaulted has pleaded guilty to stalking and criminal sexual conduct in the case.
Jeffrey Eldred, 33, pleaded guilty July 29 to one count of stalking, five counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Prosecutors dismissed one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Eldred was charged in Hennepin County District Court last November following a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ramsey County. His attorney announced Eldred will plead guilty to the Ramsey County charge, possibly on Aug. 28, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
The Ramsey county investigation began Nov. 16 when a woman reported to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office that she had been a victim of criminal sexual conduct earlier in the month. She said that she met Eldred through the Tinder app and went to his residence on Nov. 3. She reported that they drank and made out while naked in Eldred’s bed. Because she didn’t want to drive, she slept in his bed, according to the Hennepin County complaint.
The victim reported that the suspect attempted to have sex with her 10 times throughout the night despite her repeated objections, the complaint noted.
The victim used the suspect’s computer the following morning for an online class and saw more than 40 videos that appeared to show Eldred assaulting women while they slept. She took photos of the videos but could not get them to play. The videos were labeled with initials, according to the complaint.
A search of Eldred’s residence Nov. 21 included an interview that Eldred consented to. When asked to explain the videos, he said they were of a former girlfriend who consented to them when she was intoxicated. He said other videos with different initials were of a woman from New York whose name he did not recall. He said that the videos were collected in an email account because he didn’t want the videos on his phone, as he was still married at the time, the complaint explained.
Eldred was not arrested at the time, and his cellphone was taken as part of the search. The phone contained a video of the victim, as well as videos of another woman who was determined to be a Bloomington resident. She was interviewed on Nov. 28 and said that she had dated Eldred periodically during the past year. He would often stay at her residence and she was not aware that he had taken videos of her, according to the complaint.
The Bloomington woman identified herself as the woman in photos or videos from December 2017 and April, May and September 2018. There were two other videos of the woman that could not be identified by date or location, and several of the photos and videos depict Eldred sexually assaulting her. The woman was partially clothed in some of the videos and said she was sleeping or unconscious when the photos and videos were taken, the complaint noted.
Eldred acknowledged that the victim did not know he was videotaping these acts as part of his guilty plea. He also admitted to factors – multiple penetrations and cruelty – that will allow the judge to sentence him to more prison time than called for under Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, according to the county attorney’s office.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Kali Gardner said prosecutors have not determined what sentence they will ask for as they wait for the results of a pre-sentence investigation of Eldred, including a psycho-sexual exam by a court psychologist.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30.
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