Emily Welker, Published September 23 2013
Former Davies student pleads guilty in sex assault case
Borris Dahn, 18, of Fargo, pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court Monday to Class A misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Two other misdemeanor charges, sexual assault and simple assault, were dismissed.
Dahn had initially faced a felony restraint charge in connection with the incident.
Judge Wick Corwin sentenced Dahn on the disorderly conduct and unlawful restraint charges to credit for time served and 360 days of unsupervised probation.
“I can’t imagine someone going through what you’ve gone through without learning something,” Corwin said.
“It was basically at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Dahn, to the judge. “I guarantee you I will not see you back in court.”
Cass County prosecutors asked for 18 months of supervised probation, while public defender Charlie Sheeley said Dahn’s sentence should be a deferred imposition, since the allegations made the incident sound worse than it was. Under a deferred imposition, a conviction is removed from an offender’s public record if probation is successfully completed.
At a previous hearing, a Fargo police detective testified the girl Dahn was accused of assaulting had previously been suspended for calling him a racial slur, and there were allegations she took Dahn’s hat and threw it in the ladies’ room toilet before the two were seen on a school surveillance video getting into a physical confrontation.
The detective also testified a video shows Dahn slapping the 16-year-old girl in the face and buttocks, putting her on the floor and restraining her with her head between his legs.
“Mr. Dahn was kicked in the privates,” Sheeley said in court, “[and] he spoke in a way he regrets … things like this are often kept in school rather than in the criminal justice system.”
In an interview with The Forum, Dahn said he was expelled from Davies after the incident and has struggled to find work and an apartment while the charges were pending.
Dahn also said the allegations caused a near-fight while he was held for 10 days in the Cass County Jail. Another inmate became aggressive with him, accusing Dahn of approaching a strange girl on campus and sexually assaulting her, something the inmate believed based on the way initial media reports sounded, Dahn said.
Contrary to early reports, Dahn said he and the victim were briefly romantically involved before the altercation. He said he regretted his involvement in the fight.
“My whole life I’ve never hit a girl. ... I learned my lesson,” Dahn said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541