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Crookston man charged with sexually assaulting nursing home employee

Jason Cortez

Crookston police said today they arrested a man last week after he admitted to sexually assaulting a woman in November and last week threatening her about telling police about it.

Jason Cortez, 22, is in jail awaiting his next court appearance Feb. 19 on charges based on the allegations.

On Feb. 3, police were called to Villa St. Vincent, a Catholic nursing home. An officer met with the alleged victim, who is in her late 20s and with the director of nursing at the Benedictine facility on "The Mount" next to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The woman said Cortez had sexually assaulted her Nov. 30 in the Villa's parking lot. She said on Feb. 3, he confronted her in the nursing home's linen room, physically attacking her and threatening her .

On Monday, Det. Sgt. Aaron Pry said that during an interview Feb. 5 in the police station, Cortez admitted to the woman's allegations.

He was charged by the Polk County prosecutor with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the November incident and with tampering with a witness, making terroristic threats, false imprisonment and fifth-degree assault in the Feb. 3 incident.

All but the assault charge are felonies, a court official said.

Cortez made an initial appearance Friday in state district court in Crookston. His probation on a previous conviction was revoked and he remains in the regional jail in Crookston. His next appearance is scheduled for Feb. 19, when he can enter a formal plea, a court official said. Cortez had not obtained a defense attorney by Monday.

Pry said Cortez knew the woman, who works at the home, and that he did not appear to pose a threat to anyone else at Villa St. Vincent, including residents.