From today's Shakopee Valley News. Read the 1985 Attorney General's story. 

By Shannon Fiecke, Staff Writer

James Rud, the only person to ever be convicted in the famous 1980s Jordan sex abuse scandal, was back in Scott County last week.

Rud, a confessed child molester who later recanted stories of widespread sex abuse in Jordan, is up for release, having serving two-thirds of his 40-year sentence.

The former Jordan trash collector was held in Scott County Jail as District Court Judge Caroline Lennon heard arguments on whether to indefinitely commit him as a sexually dangerous person.

A three-day trial was held at the Scott County Justice Center.

Whatever decision is reached will likely be appealed.

Rud, a convicted pedophile, was accused in late 1983 of molesting a girl he babysat in Jordan.

The investigation, which some say evolved into a “witch hunt,” led to the eventual arrest of 23 other adults.

National news media descended on Jordan as children spun wild tales of homicides committed by members of a sex ring.

In total, 37 children were alleged to have been molested, according to a Time magazine article.

One couple was acquitted of child sex-abuse, and then-Scott County Attorney Kathleen Morris dropped charges against all remaining defendants.

The state Attorney General’s Office later wrote a scathing report about how the cases were managed, concluding it was impossible to file any new charges because of the clumsy investigation.

Children had been questioned repeatedly, over an extended period of time, about sex abuse, the report said. Some children initially denied abuse by their parents until questioned over a period of months. In some instances, allegations of sexual abuse turned into stories of mutilations and eventually homicide.

The ordeal caused the state to thoroughly review how child sex-abuse cases should be handled.

There is no doubt a number of children were victims of sexual abuse, the Attorney General’s Office concluded. But they would face severe credibility challenges at trial because of repeated questioning, lack of reports and “cross-germination” from children being interviewed together. There was also a lack of corroborating evidence, such as through search warrants or surveillance techniques.

Rud, now 52, was convicted of 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for 10 different boys and girls, according to civil commitment papers filed by Scott County last June.

A 107-page civil petition outlines Rud’s history of sexual abuse and time within the prison system.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, there were other offenders who received immunity for sex crimes and underwent treatment. In one instance, abuse occurred outside the period of the statute of limitations.

One woman admitted sexually abusing her son, but the Scott County attorney decided not to file charges (in that case there was no connection to a sex ring or other adults).

With all other allegations of abuse, however, it was impossible to determine whether abuse actually occurred, and if it did, who performed the acts, the report concluded.

Shannon Fiecke can be reached at (952) 345-6679 or sfiecke@swpub.com

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