Zumhofe takes stand in own defense, denies everything
WILLMAR — The 62-year-old Cyrus man accused of molesting a close female relative denied the allegations Tuesday when he testified in his own defense.
Eugene “Buck” Zumhofe took the stand in his criminal sexual conduct trial Tuesday afternoon and denied any sexual involvement with the young woman, now age 29.
Under questioning by defense attorney Carter Greiner, Zumhofe denied the previous testimony by the young woman, including denying that he had sexual contact with her and denying that he engaged in any other inappropriate actions with her.
Zumhofe said that prior testimony about his calling the young woman “beautiful” was not sexual in nature. “All my daughters are beautiful,” he said.
Zumhofe faces six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having a sexual relationship with the young woman beginning when she was 15 years old. She began living with Zumhofe at that time.
He is a former professional wrestler who performed as Buck “Rock n’ Roll” Zumhofe.
The trial before District Judge David Mennis continues today in Kandiyohi County District Court. The assistant county attorneys prosecuting the case are Nathan Midolo, Aaron Welch and Dain Olson. Zumhofe is represented by Greiner and Robert Schaps.
Zumhofe testified Tuesday that if he ever called sex “forbidden fruit,” it was because he was trying to be a good parent and have the fatherly talk with his children about sex and relationships.
“If I said that statement, it was during the talk that all dads have about the birds and the bees,” he said.
Zumhofe also stated that, during the time when the abuse allegedly began, he was working 12-hour shifts at the concrete plant in New London, trying to make enough money to support himself and the young woman, while also paying child support. He said he was exhausted from his work and not capable of having sex all night, as the young woman had testified. He said they spent evenings watching movies, wrestling videos or television.
Zumhofe said he shared a bed with the young woman only when they were on the road to a wrestling show, in order to save money on motel rooms, or he shared a bed with her when other wrestlers came to stay at his residence.
“It was either I slept with her, let another guy sleep with her or sleep on the floor,” he testified.
The criminal complaint against Zumhofe alleges that he started having sex with the young woman when she was 15 years old, in June 1999. The abuse is alleged to have continued until 2011. The woman reported the abuse after seeking therapy and medical care in 2012. She alleges that there were approximately 1,800 separate acts of sexual abuse.