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Omnibus Hearing continued in local case

Cook County  courthouse
Cook County courthouse

The Omnibus Hearing for a 36-year-old Grand Portage man was continued Wednesday in the Sixth District Court until January 23.
Joel Ray Allard remains in jail in lieu of bail on charges alleging sexual conduct with young girls. Three separate criminal complaints have been filed against him in the case.
Allard and defense attorney John Lind appeared before Sixth District Judge Michael Cuzzo in the Cook County Courthouse Wednesday for an Omnibus Hearing. Under Minnesota law, the hearing is designed to hear motions on probable cause, evidentiary issues, procedural issues and other matters relating to a fair and expeditious trial. A plea also may be entered during such hearings, or, the decision can be make to take a case to trial.
During the hearing Wednesday, Assistant Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken passed along nine supplemental reports to the prosecution. Included in those reports were interviews with six juveniles.
She said that “a massive amount of evidence” is being gathered from Allard’s computer equipment by law enforcement technical experts in St. Paul and Superior. She requested an IPad password from the defense to expedite the gathering of evidence. Lind declined to make the password available saying there is no authority at this point to require his client to provide it.
Hicken said that without the password, the gathering of the evidence by the outside tech experts could take two months.
Lind noted that while there may be a great number of images on the computers, they may not have been actively sought or viewed by his client.
And, Judge Cuzzo acknowledged the complexity in dealing with the technical evidence involved in the case.
Lind also said that he is confident the prosecutor is doing what she can to make the evidence available to him. He said he wants the evidence analyzed by the tech experts before he sees it.
Because of the need for further time to obtain and analyze the evidence, Judge Cuzzo continued the Omnibus Hearing to 2:30 PM, Wednesday, January 23.
Allard is facing two counts of felony criminal sexual predatory conduct, two counts of felony conduct, two counts of felony false imprisonment, two counts of gross misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct and one count of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. The charges involve three girls under the age of 13.