Defendant to take stand today in rape trial

NEW ULM – A three-day jury trial for a 19-year-old Worthington man facing four counts of felony criminal sexual conduct and one count of misdemeanor 5th degree assault of a juvenile girl is scheduled to conclude today in Brown County District Court.

Defendant Taylor B. Anderson is set to testify today along with two Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) witnesses in the case alleging assaults that took place in Springfield on Sept. 29, 2013.

Anderson and the girl met on Facebook and sent text messages to each other for a brief time before deciding to meet on Sept. 29, 2013 in Springfield.

“We kissed and talked of romance,” the girl testified responding to a question from prosecuting attorney Paul Gunderson about their first meeting. She said she did not make plans to return home but didn’t want to spend the night in Springfield.

The criminal complaint said she and Anderson visited her friend’s residence later in the day. While in a spare bedroom together Anderson turned off the lights, locked the door and twice tried to have sex with her in between a mutual smoke break outside. One of the encounters involved partial penetration with Anderson using a condom, despite the girl’s verbal resistance, according to court documents.

The girl testified Thursday that the couple did not do any drugs or drink alcohol that night.

The girl resisted the second encounter before she said Anderson pushed her against a wall and put his hand on her neck, making it difficult for her to breathe and choked her, leaving bruises on her neck and chest. She bit him on the shoulder during the struggle, according to court documents.

On Thursday, the girl testified that she “was saying ‘no’ for a few minutes” during the encounter. “I pushed him away,” she said.

“Why didn’t you call your mother for a ride home?” Public Defender John Yost asked her.

“I don’t know why,” the girl replied.

“And you had a friend with a car two blocks from where you were?” Yost asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

In further testimony, the girl said she asked Anderson to drive her home in the early morning hours of Sept. 30, which he did.

The incident was reported to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 1 who relayed it to Springfield Police. They interviewed the girl and asked her who assaulted her. She named Anderson, and police verified his identity by showing her a photo of him.

According to the girl’s testimony, she told police she thought Anderson was still at the Springfield residence where the alleged assaults took place.

Police went to the residence, talked to Anderson who admitted to having sex with the girl but said that he thought the date was going well. He later turned over his cellphone to police and helped them find text messages she sent him that included heart symbols.

The girl testified that Anderson later said things to her that were upsetting, but she didn’t remember his exact words. Yost asked her to read a text message that stated “I’m sorry Taylor. I don’t think this will work out. I’m not the perfect girl. I’m sorry.”

“You wanted to end the relationship?” Yost asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Did you accuse him of lying? Did it upset you?” Yost asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“And 30 minutes later, you talked to police?”

“Yes,” the girl said.

Gunderson presented a number of exhibits including photos of the girl taken during an examination at the hospital. The photos showed bruising.

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

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