The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 5, 2013

Lake Crystal man charged with assault for hitting, threatening

By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — Felony assault charges have been filed against a Lake Crystal man who is accused of hitting a woman and threatening her with a knife at her Mankato residence Sunday.

Robert James Sichmeller, 29, had already been issued a court order  to stay away from the victim after an incident Dec. 17 at his residence in Lake Crystal. The victim told a Mankato police officer Sichmeller was at her house Sunday morning when she returned at about 2:30 a.m. after a night out with friends.

The woman said she took a bath and went to bed. When she woke up at about 9 a.m., Sichmeller was still there. They eventually started talking about their relationship and Sichmeller said he wanted to get back together with her, she reported.

It wasn’t long into the conversation when Sichmeller allegedly started grabbing her and pushing her around, according to the criminal complaint. The victim told the officer he held her arm across her throat and choked her while demanding the access code to her cellphone.

She also said Sichmeller held a knife in his hand and threatened her as the assault continued. He allegedly said he would kill her if she didn’t start seeing him again.

He appeared in court Tuesday for the new charges, which include felony charges of stalking, second-degree assault, making terroristic threats and domestic assault by strangulation. Sichmeller also is facing misdemeanor charges for domestic assault and violating an order for protection.

That order was issued after a Dec. 17 incident in Lake Crystal where Sichmeller allegedly held a loaded shotgun to his head and threatened to shoot himself in front of the woman and two children. The victim reported Sichmeller was intimidating her and keeping her from leaving before he went to the garage, got the shotgun and loaded it in front of her.

Sichmeller later told a Blue Earth County deputy he never intended to shoot himself but just wanted to scare the victim so she would stay.

A gross misdemeanor charge of stalking and two misdemeanor domestic assault charges were filed as a result of that incident.