Forum News Service, Published February 20 2014
Dunn Center rape case to go to trialMANNING, N.D. - A Dunn Center man will go to trial for an alleged rape that seriously injured a woman, though he said the sex was consensual.
At a preliminary hearing Thursday, Dunn County Assistant State’s Attorney Pat Merriman laid out the state’s case against Jeffery Thibault, who is charged with rape and reckless endangerment.
Dunn County Detective Ron McCloud testified that the woman blacked out over a few hours in early November, during which Thibault allegedly raped her so forcefully she had hemorrhaging and lost liters of blood, and then left her.
But Thibault said in a law enforcement interview that the woman wanted to have sex after a night at a bar and that any injuries were a result of the vigorousness of their sex.
Southwest Judicial District Judge William Herauf said the woman’s injuries met the probable cause burden needed to send the case to trial.
The woman, believed to be living in another state, did not appear at the hearing. Defense attorney Kevin McCabe tried to have the charges dismissed immediately, saying she was required to appear, but Herauf said that wasn’t necessary. Merriman said she’ll be available for deposition and trial.