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Published July 13 2012

No charges for alleged accomplice in rape

FARGO – Prosecutors have declined to file charges against a man who allegedly encouraged his friend to have sex with an unconscious woman at a south Fargo apartment, court documents state.

The alleged rapist, John Leroy Bussert, 21, of Fargo, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cass County District Court to gross sexual imposition.

Fargo police had recommended that Bussert’s friend be charged as an accomplice, but the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office declined.

Assistant State’s Attorney Reid Brady wrote in the decline letter that although Bussert claimed his friend encouraged him to have sex with the woman while she was passed out, “his claim is not sufficiently reliable.”

“Sufficient corroboration is lacking here,” the letter says.

Much of the letter is redacted because the case against Bussert is still active, Brady said. If additional evidence arises, the case should be resubmitted for review, his letter says.

Bussert allegedly told police that his friend said he would find him a female for the night if Bussert found the alcohol.

The friend encouraged Bussert to have sex with the woman and kept saying, “she wants it,” Bussert told police, according to court documents.

Bussert allegedly told police the victim never woke up while he was having sex with her.

Fargo Lt. Joel Vettel said that while police felt they had enough evidence to charge the friend, it’s the state’s attorney’s role to make that decision, and police aren’t disappointed.

“Those are tough situations where, yeah, I’m sure he had an influence in the behavior, but we can’t prove it,” Vettel said.

Bussert faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the Class A felony.


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