MN: Second Metro Transit Bus Sex Assault is Linked to Man

A man sentenced last week for the sexual assault of a woman with Down syndrome on a city bus has been linked to another sexual assault of a vulnerable adult, police said Tuesday.

Herbert Lee House III's conviction required that he submit a DNA sample and it matched evidence from the previously unsolved sexual assault in St. Paul, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed Tuesday.

A woman reported to police on Aug. 25 that she was the victim of a sexual assault while riding a Metro Transit bus, the affidavit said. Metro Transit police Capt. Michael LaVine said it happened after the woman left the bus.

It doesn't appear that the woman knew the suspect. LaVine said he couldn't comment on what made the victim a vulnerable adult.

The search warrant, which was granted, was to obtain another DNA sample from House, 23. The confirmatory sample was needed so that it can legally be used as evidence, LaVine said.

The case remains under investigation.

House was sentenced last Wednesday to five years and two months in prison for third-degree criminal sexual conduct. One of two teenage witnesses told police that a man, later identified as House, got on a Metro Transit bus in Lowertown on Feb. 22.

The victim, who boarded the bus with a group of other disabled adults and their personal care attendant, sat down in a seat near House.

House moved next to the victim. The two teen witnesses said they saw House direct the woman to perform oral sex on him. House also tried to get her to leave with him - until the care attendant yelled at her to get back on the bus.

House was also charged Feb. 1 with disorderly conduct for alleged unwanted touching of a woman at a Sixth and Minnesota streets bus shelter downtown. That case is pending.

Emily Gurnon contributed to this report. Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262.

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