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Ex-wrestler found guilty in sex case, tried to run after verdicts were read

Forum News Service

WILLMAR, Minn. -- A former professional wrestler has been found guilty of 12 charges of criminal sexual conduct, and a judge will weigh several factors in determining the severity of the sentence.

The guilty verdicts were returned Wednesday against Eugene Otto Zumhofe, 62, of Cyrus, in Kandiyohi County District Court. The jury found Zumhofe guilty of six first-degree and six third-degree counts of criminal sexual conduct for molesting a close female relative over a period of years. The abuse began in 1999 when she was 15.

Zumhofe, a former wrestler known as “Buck Rock ’N’ Roll Zumhofe’’ in the 1980s and early 1990s, was taken into custody after the verdicts were read. He tried to run from the courthouse before being subdued by security officers.

He will be held pending sentencing on the sexual conduct convictions, and the Kandiyohi County Jail custody list now also notes a pending felony charge of escape from custody.

District Judge David Mennis heard arguments Thursday on aggravating factors, which could lead to a longer prison term. The factors include the particular cruelty of the abuse, Zumhofe’s history of sexual crimes and his pattern as a sex offender.

Sentencing is set for May 7.