Rape trial for Worthington man starts

NEW ULM – A jury trial for a 19-year-old Worthington man facing felony counts of first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and misdemeanor 5th degree assault of a juvenile girl began Wednesday in Brown County District Court.

The case involves Taylor B. Anderson. The alleged assaults took place in Springfield on Sept. 29, 2013.

Anderson and the victim met on Facebook and had a long-distance relationship until they decided to meet on Sept. 29, 2013.

The complaint details two incidents in which Anderson forced the alleged victim to have sex with him, and one of the incident involved partial penetration. It further states that she resisted him and he tried to choke her during the assaults.

The incident was reported to Springfield police on Oct. 1, 2013, by an adult. Police found a photo of Anderson on a Minnesota Department of Public Safety website and showed it to the girl. She identified Anderson as the perpetrator, according to the complaint.

Anderson admitted to police that he knew the girl was a juvenile and was he taken to jail, according to the complaint.

Jury selection was completed Wednesday afternoon, and opening arguments took place.

“This case is about a violent rape on the first day the couple met in person,” said Assistant Brown County Attorney Paul Gunderson. “After you hear the evidence, you’ll find the defendant guilty.”

Anderson’s attorney John Yost of New Ulm said it was true the couple had sexual relations and that he would present evidence that rape had not taken place.

“Keep an open mind,” Yost told the jury. “I think the evidence will show there was coercion, not rape.”

The jury trial continues at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Brown County District Courtroom. It is expected to conclude on Friday.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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