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Published January 28 2010

Court declines to rehear appeal of sex abuse lawsuit

A sex abuse lawsuit filed in Cass County against a former Fargo dentist will not be heard on appeal again by the North Dakota Supreme Court.

The court denied the request by Jeffrey Dunford to reconsider an appeal on his 2008 lawsuit. In a ruling on Dec. 15, the dismissal of the lawsuit by Cass County District Court Judge Frank Racek was unanimously upheld by the court. About two weeks later, Dunford asked the court to rehear his appeal.

Dunford sought compensation for emotional injury he said he suffered due to a sexual assault he recalls happening in the late 1960s as a teenager. He said he was molested by Trueman Tryhus Jr., a former Fargo dentist and school board member, while sitting in his dentist’s chair.

Tryhus is retired and living in Arizona and denied the claims Dunford made in the lawsuit.

Racek dismissed the suit in April 2008 on grounds it was filed too late. Dunford argued the time limit for his claim shouldn’t have started ticking until 2006, when a therapist diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.