ST. CLOUD -- A Sauk Rapids man has pleaded guilty to forcing his way into a Sauk Rapids business and trying to sexually assault a woman.

Matthew Pearson appeared in Benton County District Court Thursday. He pleaded guilty to 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct.

On Aug. 19, Sauk Rapids Police officers were called to Wash N Tan at 15 2nd Ave. N. on a report of an assault in progress. According to a 911 dispatcher, a woman was heard on the call, screaming and saying, "He won't get off of me." The dispatcher said the woman sounded as though she was being strangled.

Police arrived around 9:30 p.m. and found the victim behind the counter. They said her pants were partially off and items in the building were knocked over.


The victim told officers she had locked the doors to the business around 9 p.m. About 25 minutes later, Pearson knocked on the door. The victim told police it appeared as though he needed help, so she opened the door. Pearson pushed her inside, telling her to take off her pants before tackling her. The victim tried to push Pearson off while running to get a portable phone to dial 911. The victim says Pearson pushed her to the ground again while trying to remove her pants and kiss her. She says she tried to push Pearson off by grabbing him around the throat.

Pearson will be sentenced on February 13.

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