Duluth man sentenced to 22 years in prison for 2021 sexual assault

A Duluth man was sentenced Monday for a kidnapping and forcible sexual assault, dating back to 2021.

The St. Louis County Attorney’s Office says Dennis John Hannuksela was on parole for a 1987 murder conviction when he took a woman to a rural logging road on May 15, 2021. County officials say the woman was bound with zip ties and assaulted.

At Monday’s sentencing, the County says Hannuksela was given the maximum presumptive guideline sentences of 46 months for kidnapping, and and 228 months for sexual assault. By law, those two prison terms will run concurrently. Hannuksela was convicted by a jury in November.

“The success in this case should be credited to the bravery of the survivor in her testimony before the jury as well as the exceptional investigative work lead by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and assisted by the Duluth Police Department, Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,” said St. Louis County Attorney Kim Maki in a press release.

If you are a victim of sexual assault or know someone who is, there is help 24/7. The Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) is always available to call at (218) 726-1931.