After keeping quiet for nearly three years, Wayzata businessman William Wanner stepped in front of cameras twice Monday trying to repair his reputation now that the sex assault charges against him have been dismissed.
"It's just stomach-wrenching. Your life flashes in front of you. I will never get over it for the rest of my life. I will go to my grave thinking about this," said Wanner.
On Monday, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office dismissed the sexual assault case against businessman William Wanner stemming from reports of alleged activity at the Minneapolis Club. A six-page reason for dismissal was filed Monday morning. Defense attorney Joel Friedberg alleged the then 10 year old girl was coerced in to making allegations against Wanner.
"It's probably the most outrageous pleading I've seen in my life," said attorney Joe Friedberg.
Wanner, 67, was originally charged in late December 2009. Since then, the case has lingered in the courts, where it has been heard by five different judges and seen various appeals. One appeal got a taped interview with the girl thrown out.
"They were able to get the girl to make a kind of allegation against Mr. Wanner by essentially keeping her in a room until she agreed with them," said Friedberg. "Court of appeals said that was outrageous and nothing came out of that type of coercion over bearing police work. "
Monday morning, Friedberg said he called for a special hearing and was planning to prove Wanner's innocence by calling the girl, her parents and Wanner himself to the stand for the judge to decide if the case should go to trial. That hearing never happened.
Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, told FOX 9 News, "We did not receive a notice of any type of hearing for today. Justice required us to dismiss this case and we did that. Did Mr. Friedberg really want to put this little girl through this?"
"He (Mike Freeman) won't comment because he knows if he came down and repeated these things after his immunity has been removed he could be sued," says Friedberg
With a previous condition not to see the girl, Wanner says he has no plans to now. Wanner is the owner of Wanner Engineer Inc. and is also business partners with the girl's mother for a separate business overseas.
Wanner had one clear answer when asked if considered any of his actions three years ago bad judgment.
"I will for the rest of my life," he said. "If I'm ever around kids, I'll make sure there is another adult with me, and that it's a friend."
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