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Bar owner charged with misconduct

By Janice Gregorson

gregor@postbulletin.com

STEWARTVILLE — Criminal charges have been filed against the owner of a Stewartville bar for allegedly selling alcohol to a minor and later sexually assaulting her at a party after the bar closed for the night last July.

Daniel John Himmer, 57, owner of Legends Lounge, is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies. One of the counts alleges use of force to accomplish the sexual contact. The second alleges engaging in sexual contact with a person he knew was mentally impaired, incapacitated or physically helpless. He also is charged with one count of gross misdemeanor purchasing or furnishing liquor to a person under 21 years old; and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a second woman.

A summons has been issued for Himmer to appear in Olmsted District Court on March 30.

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Called to fight

According to the complaint, sheriff’s deputies were sent to a residence in Stewartville about 4:40 a.m. on July 6 to investigate a report of two men fighting. Deputies found five other people at the scene and spoke with them. They learned that Himmer and another person had left prior to deputies arriving.

Deputies learned the two men got into a fight with another male for not protecting a woman from Himmer’s sexual advances, the complaint says. One of the men said he spent the evening with friends drinking at Legends Lounge and saw Himmer serve a 20-year-old woman three alcoholic beverages during the evening. The man said that after the bar closed, several people went to a Stewartville residence for a party. Himmer also attended the party, he said. The witness said that during the party, he saw Himmer sexually assault the 20-year-old woman while she was lying on the couch. The man told deputies he also saw Himmer put his hand down the inside of another woman’s pants.

The 20-year-old victim said she had gone to Legends with some friends and was drinking. She said that while there, she was introduced to Himmer. She said Himmer was tending bar and served her three alcoholic drinks. She said she was not asked for identification. After the bar closed, she and her friends went to the party; she told authorities she didn’t feel good and lay down on the couch in the living room. She said she was almost asleep when Himmer began sexually assaulting her. She said she tried to push him away but couldn’t. She asked a female friend for help and said the friend and a male pulled Himmer off her. She said she later saw Himmer put his hand down the back of her female friend’s pants.

Denies allegations

Himmer told deputies that on July 5, he was tending bar and serving drinks. He denied serving the 20-year-old alcoholic beverages. He admitted going to the party but denied the allegations that he sexually assaulted the two women. He said he left the residence on good terms.

Another male at the party told deputies that Himmer called him after deputies came to his house. The man said Himmer asked him to call around and see if anyone knew who was at the party so he (Himmer) could contact them and find out who was making the allegations. Deputies asked the man to make a covert call to Himmer in their presence. Himmer was heard telling the man to "you know, cover my back ..."

The complaint said a DNA sample from Himmer matched a DNA sample found on the female victim.

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