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Vulcan King gets vulgar, according to charges

Associated Press

ST. PAUL -- A man portraying the Vulcan King during the St. Paul Winter Carnival was charged Monday with molesting three women.

Thomas Clifford Trudeau, 54, allegedly touched the women's breasts, buttocks and crotches during a garter ritual at Alary's bar, where the women were working as bartenders.

Trudeau was charged in Ramsey County District Court with three counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor. He could not be reached for comment.

The garter episodes were not part of the official Winter Carnival events, said Bob Viking, president and chief executive of the St. Paul Winter Festival and Heritage Foundation, which runs the carnival.

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According to a criminal complaint, the women agreed to allow the Vulcans to run the garters up their legs. But instead of performing the ritual in public, the Vulcans circled each woman and held their capes up while Trudeau touched them.

Trudeau tried to kiss one of the women, according to the complaint. The complaint said a member of the Vulcans later apologized to the women.

In Winter Carnival lore, the Vulcans represent fire and pave the way for summer. They are one of several groups that carry on festival traditions and wear distinctive costumes, which include capes, helmets and goggles.

After the alleged groping was reported to police Wednesday, carnival organizers ordered the Vulcans to limit their appearances to official events on the carnival's final weekend.

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