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Published June 11 2012

Rape suspect’s friend may also face charges

FARGO – A 21-year-old Fargo man charged with sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on Sunday told police that his friend encouraged him to do it and kept saying “she wants it,” according to court documents.

John Leroy Bussert was charged Monday in Cass County District Court with gross sexual imposition.

Fargo police are recommending his friend be charged as an accomplice. The friend hadn’t been charged as of Monday afternoon. Officers were called at about 2 a.m. Sunday to a reported disturbance at an apartment in the 900 block of Fifth Avenue South. Other people present in the apartment contacted police, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

According to the police report summary filed with the rape charge, Bussert allegedly told an officer that he and his friend planned to have a female acquaintance over to the apartment, get her drunk and have sex with her.

“I think probably the most alarming thing for us is this was obviously a premeditated search for a female that led to sexual assault,” Vettel said.

Bussert allegedly told police the victim never woke up while he was having sex with her. The police report says that when an investigator asked Bussert if he thought the woman knew he was having sex with her, he said, “I don’t know” and said he thought she was passed out. Bussert allegedly told police that his friend “has given him sexual advice in the past and he was helping while she was passed out tonight as well,” the report says.

Bussert said his friend told him he would find him a female for the night if Bussert found the alcohol, the report says.

Both men were taken to Sanford Medical Center for a sexual assault examination kit.

Bussert’s bail was set at $50,000 cash or bond during his initial court appearance Monday. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the Class A felony.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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