Man who burned down Frankenstein statue in Minnesota sentenced

JANESVILLE, Minn. — A Minnesota man who set fire to a Frankenstein monster statue in June was sentenced to house arrest, community service, probation and restitution.

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Luke Duane Olson, 35, of Janesville, pleaded guilty to felony arson Thursday in the fire that destroyed the 20-foot statue in June, The Free Press of Mankato reported.

The fiberglass and steel statue had stood on the property of Mark Borneke and Vicki Borneke since they bought it in 2012, the newspaper reported.

Vicki Borneke said it would cost nearly $20,000 to replace the statue, so she and her husband will not try to replace it.

“It would be a long process to try to find something similar to Frankenstein,” Vicki Borneke told the Free Press. “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.”

On June 12, Janesville police responded to a fire at 2 a.m. CDT and discovered the statue engulfed in flames, according to Southern Minnesota News. The statue was a total loss, police said.

Surveillance video showed a man matching Olson’s description carrying a gas can to the statue and lighting a fire, the Free Press reported. When the first fire did not spread, the man returned and lit a second fire, according to an arrest affidavit.

Olson’s wallet was found on the ground near the burned statue, according to the Free Press. Clothes seen on the video were found in Olson’s home, including shoes that smelled like gasoline, according to Southern Minnesota News.

Olson entered a Norgaard plea, indicating he does not remember the fire due to intoxication. A second charge of property damage was dismissed after Olson’s plea.

Waseca County Court Judge Carol Hanks sentenced Olson to 60 days in home confinement using an electronic monitoring device and 90 days of electronic alcohol monitoring, the Free Press reported. He also must complete 120 hours of community service and five years probation, as well as pay restitution.