JANESVILLE — The man who burned down Janesville’s iconic Frankenstein’s monster was sentenced to house arrest, community service, probation and restitution.
Luke Duane Olson, 35, of Janesville, has pleaded guilty to felony arson in the fire that destroyed the 20-foot statue that once towered over the corner of South Main and West Mill streets.
Mark and Vicki Borneke bought the fiberglass and steel monster at an auction and it stood on their property from 2012 until June.
Police officers found the statue engulfed in flames in the middle of the night. Surveillance video showed a man matching Olson’s description bring a gas can to the statute and light a fire. When the first fire did not spread, the man returned and lit a second fire, the charges said.
Olson’s wallet was found on the ground in the area. Clothes that matched the man in the video, were found in Olson’s nearby residence, including shoes that smelled like gasoline.
Olson entered a Norgaard plea, indicating he does not remember the fire due to intoxication. A second charge of property damage was dismissed in the plea deal.
The felony arson charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor if Olson successfully completes the sentence given earlier this week in Waseca County Court.
Judge Carol Hanks ordered Olson to spend 60 days in home confinement using an electronic monitoring device and 90 days of electronic alcohol monitoring. He also must complete 120 hours of community service and five years probation and pay restitution. The sentence also included credit for three days spent in jail after his arrest.
The amount of restitution will be decided at a hearing next month.
Vicki Borneke said it would cost nearly $20,000 to replace Frankenstein’s monster. She said they have decided not to try to replace it.
“It would be a long process to try to find something similar to Frankenstein,” she said. “If we did find something depending on how far away it was, it would take a lot of equipment, time and money to bring it back to Janesville.”