Man accused of kidnapping two Stephen, Minn., girls previously wanted for criminal sexual conduct, soliciting minors for sexual acts

Jul. 20—A man is in custody after allegedly kidnapping two girls near Stephen, Minn.

Julio Clauson has been in custody since the incident happened in the early morning hours on July 10. No charges have yet been filed against Clauson in Marshall County.

Marshall County State's Attorney Donald Aandal said because Clauson is wanted on charges out of St. Louis County, the Marshall County authorities intend to take the time to finish their own investigation before filing charges, a process he estimates could take up to two weeks.

"A lot of time when things like this happen quickly, there's some misinformation that's out," Aandal said. "We want to make sure we want to get everything right, since we have the luxury of time."

He said he expects Clauson will face two counts of kidnapping in Marshall County, and could possibly face charges of soliciting minors for sexual acts.

Clauson was previously wanted for three counts of criminal sexual conduct, plus more than 10 counts of soliciting minors for sexual acts, according to Aandal. Clauson is being held on $100,000 bail in Hibbing, Minn.

Clauson is accused of yelling at two Marshall County girls at a park in the early morning near Stephen until they got in his van. Aandal said the girls' relative saw this happen, and allegedly followed the vehicle at high speeds, eventually involving law enforcement as well.

Clauson is accused of letting the girls out on a rural gravel road before going on to be arrested in Polk County, Aandal said.

Aandal said he believes Clauson drove across the state to find the girls after seeing their location on Snapchat.

The girls were frightened by the incident and met with social services, but were otherwise unharmed, Aandal said.

"They were pretty scared, they were pretty upset that night," Aandal said. "But my understanding is they bounced back pretty well."