Sex assault charges against Austin man dismissed

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Faulty testimony and questionable credibility has prompted the Mower County Attorney’s office to dismiss all charges against an Austin man accused of sexually abusing a child.

Prosecutors filed to dismiss seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against Gordon Thomas Gunter, 58, after they discovered the child in question substantially changed details of his testimony against Gunter in various records.

County attorneys reviewed the child’s school and medical records, as well as testimony the child and his mother gave in a termination of parental rights hearing last summer, and found inconsistent testimony in major facts concerning his allegations.

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In addition, all of the alleged abuse occurred in Minnesota when the child visited Gunter’s family for several summers. The child lives in Michigan, where Gunter would have had several opportunities to abuse the child.

According to the complaint, Gunter was accused of molesting a child several times since the child was 6 years old. The chid also told police Gunter allegedly threatened to kill his mother if the victim told anyone about the abuse.

Gunter denied the accusations in his court complaint and said the victim was lying and may have been mad at him for being strict over the years. Gunter further told an investigator he had been sexually assaulted in the past, so he wouldn’t do that to somebody else.

Gunter worked for Austin Public Schools for 12 years before the district placed him on unpaid leave last year, after charges were filed against him.