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Zumhofe trial moved to December, testimony heard on evidence

WILLMAR -- The jury trial for Eugene Otto Zumhofe, 62, of Cyrus, has been rescheduled to Dec. 6 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

The trial, on 12 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct for having sexual contact with a young woman approximately 1,800 times between 1999 and 2011, had been scheduled to begin Sept. 23 before District Judge David L. Mennis, but was delayed at the request of Zumhofe's attorney, Robert Schaps.

A trial management conference was also set for Nov. 21 in the case.

During a hearing Monday to consider evidence that may be allowed at trial, a 24-year-old Wisconsin woman testified that she traveled with Zumhofe's wrestling troupe for a time around 2006 to 2007. The woman, who was 17 years old at the time, said that she awoke early one morning to find Zumhofe sexually touching her, as she slept on the floor of the one motel room occupied by the troupe.

The woman never reported it to authorities.

At the hearing, Kandiyohi County Attorney Jenna Fischer submitted for consideration both the woman's testimony about the alleged behavior and also evidence of a 1988 conviction of Zumhofe for criminal sexual conduct for sexual contact with a 13-year-old that resulted in a 26-month prison sentence. After the attorneys file briefs in the case, Mennis will rule whether the woman's testimony and the evidence of the prior conviction will be allowed at Zumhofe's trial.

Zumhofe pleaded not guilty in July to the charges filed in this case. He also posted the $50,000 conditional bail in July. He is a former professional wrestler who performed as Buck "Rock n' Roll" Zumhofe in the 1980s and early 1990s.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman reported to law enforcement in April that Zumhofe began having sexual contact with her when she was 15, in June 1999, and that the abuse continued until 2011. The woman, who is now 29, reported the abuse after seeking therapy and medical care in 2012.

The woman alleges that the abuse began when she moved into Zumhofe's home in June 1999 in New London. It began with his touching her breasts and then oral sex, the complaint states. After about two weeks, the abuse progressed to intercourse two to three times a day, and in later years, intercourse took place two to three times a week until June 2011, the complaint states..

She alleges that approximately 1,800 separate acts of sexual abuse occurred during those years. Some took place in Kandiyohi County and some in Pope County, as Zumhofe moved to Cyrus in 2001.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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