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Second Suspect Arrested in Assault, Imprisonment of Burnsville Man

Robin John Peterson, one of two men charged with burglary, false imprisonment and assault with a dangerous weapon in the Burnsville case, was arrested Wednesday in Ramsey County.

A St. Paul man being sought on charges of assaulting a Burnsville man in March and ransacking his apartment was arrested Wednesday morning. 

Robin John Peterson, 52, was arrested by Ramsey County authorities. He was being held in the Dakota County Jail, awaiting a first appearance. 

Peterson and his co-defendant, Joseph John Rousseau, are charged with aggravated first-degree robbery, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and false imprisonment, all felonies.  

Warrants for both men were issued last spring. Rousseau was arrested in late April and remains in the Dakota County Jail on a $200,000 bond. A settlement conference in his case is scheduled Aug. 15.

According to the criminal complaint, the Burnsville victim told police that he had made arrangements with a man he knew as Tony – whom he had met through a telephone dating service – to meet in the parking lot of an Eagan store on March 5.

The two men went to the victim’s apartment, where they watched computer pornography, and Tony tried to get the victim to perform a sexual act on him, according to the complaint.

When the victim suggested that they “slow things down,” Peterson became upset and threw him down, pinning him to the ground, the complaint charges. Peterson then began to ransack the man’s home, and found a folding knife with a 6-inch blade, which he held to the victim’s throat several times, threatening to kill him if he went to the police or told anyone else about the incident, according to the complaint.

Peterson then called a man later identified as Rousseau and asked him to come to the victim’s apartment, the victim said. When he arrived about five minutes later, Rousseau hit the victim on the head, then wrapped tape around his head, covering his eyes, the complaint says.

The victim said the two men then discussed whether they should kill him, and threatened him and his family several times.

Peterson and Rousseau stole a 40-inch flat-screen television, a cell phone, about $30 in cash, the victim’s keys and his wallet, which contained his driver’s license, his credit card, medical cards, bank checks and gift cards, the complaint charges.

The two men are accused of using the victim’s credit card 13 times in Ramsey, Washington and Scott counties for transactions totaling $988. Police say they also used one of the stolen checks, which they wrote for $300.

Peterson’s criminal record includes a 1986 burglary conviction and 1997 convictions for making terroristic threats and domestic assault. Authorities say the two men have targeted gay men in the past.

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