Mpls. park police say ‘Periwinkle Perv’ is caught
A 31-year-old Eagan man suspected by residents of exposing himself in numerous incidents for the past year or so has been caught, charged and has a court date next week.
Robert J. Stephenson is charged in Hennepin County District Court with misdemeanor indecent exposure in connection with allegedly standing at the end of a south Minneapolis alley with no clothes on one morning on Labor Day weekend. Stephenson has been charged by summons, meaning he remains free before a Monday court appearance.
His attorney, Eric Newmark, said Tuesday that he’s aware of reports of similar incidents being blamed on his client as Stephenson drives a periwinkle blue Chevy Spark, but he said his client has only been charged in the one incident.
The color of the car has been noted consistently by residents who have been sharing and mapping their observations online. News media accounts have earned the man the moniker “Periwinkle Perv.” However, Stephenson might not be solely responsible for all the incidents being tracked by residents.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation spokeswoman Dawn Sommers said Tuesday evening there are two suspects, the other being Kenneth J. Sanford, recently charged in connection with these incidents. Sanford, 44, has been charged with numerous misdemeanor offenses, with some occurring near Lake Calhoun.
The charge against Stephenson came thanks to Minneapolis park police winning court approval in July to put an electronic tracking device on his car.
According to the misdemeanor criminal complaint:
Park Police Lt. Mark Swanson began monitoring Stephenson’s car from about 3 to 7 a.m. on Sept. 3 traveling in areas where indecent exposure reports had been filed. Swanson positively identified Stephenson as the driver.
About 9 a.m., Swanson received a call from a woman saying she just saw a man at the end of the alley near Oakland Avenue and 47th Street standing outside a blue Chevy Spark and “totally naked.”
Swanson checked the GPS data and confirmed that Stephenson’s car was in “that exact location at that time.” opportunities for females.
“I get that,” Kosey said. “If 20 boys tried out of the dance team, some girls might get cut and eliminate some girls from participating.”
But it’s unlikely many boys would try out for the dance team, he said.
“It’s time for us to have a conversation about whether this law is outdated … and whether it should be changed,” he said.
Johnson’s mother, Miranda Lynch, said her son is happy to bring this issue to the forefront.
“We know boys who are in Minnesota who want to be part of a dance team,” she said. “But they don’t want their name out there because they don’t want to be bullied.”
Johnson has stood up to bullies in the past, she said. “He’s willing to put his name out there.” “crossed the line.”
Meanwhile, leaders in the House have contracted with a St. Paul firm to launch an outside investigation into claims of sexual harassment and misconduct by another lawmaker, Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center. Maye Quade and a female lobbyist have accused Cornish of sending inappropriate and unwanted messages. The lobbyist said Cornish tried to kiss her, pushed her against a wall, and repeatedly propositioned her for sex over the course of several years.
Cornish has denied the allegations.