Man Who Set Fire to Adult Bookstore Determined to be Mentally Ill
FOLEY -- The suspect in an arson fire at the Pure Pleasure adult bookstore in St. Cloud has been found not guilty by reason of mental illness.
Thirty-three-year-old Cody Mann of Sauk Rapids had been charged with two counts of 1st-degree arson in Benton County District Court, but Judge Michael Jesse determined that although the prosecution proved the act, Mann could not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions due to mental illness. County Attorney Philip Miller says Mann is now being referred for civil commitment hearings.
The fire took place in November 2017. A witness told police he had given a man carrying a gas can a ride to the bookstore. The driver dropped him off at Pure Pleasure at 631 Highway 10 South, thinking he owned one of the cars in the lot and had run out of gas.
Police say after Mann entered the store, he told the employee inside "I'm gonna burn this place down. I'm sick of this store". Surveillance video captured Mann pouring gas on magazines and videos in four different locations inside the store, then lighting them on fire.
The clerk ran outside and called the police. The clerk and the driver who brought him there watched Mann as he exited the store and pointed officers toward the Americanna Inn where he was arrested nearby.
An estimated $380,000 in damage was done to the interior of the building, which received heavy smoke and heat damage. Damage to the building is estimated at about $55,000 with the loss of furniture and inventory estimated at $325,000. The building is considered a total loss.
Mann's past criminal history shows charges from 2014 when he allegedly skinned and baked his pet cat in the Monticello area. He also faces felony assault charges for allegedly punching a jailer in Benton County on August 8th, 2018 and assault charges while at the jail in February 2018.