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Trial set in sex offender case

By Staff | May 18, 2009


A trial has been set for a 38-year-old Blue Earth man facing criminal sexual conduct with a juvenile and child pornography-related charges.

Defense attorney Bill Grogin entered a plea of innocent for Bryan Wayne Jones on Monday and asked Judge Douglas Richards for a speedy trial within 60 days.

On Tuesday, court officials scheduled the trial for June 4 and 5 in Faribault County District Court.

Whether a trial is actually held may depend on what happens today in court.

Grogin requested the hearing for a possible “Lothenbach” trial, in which Jones waives his right to a trial and challenge any evidence, and his right to testify, call and respond to witnesses.

The judge, not a jury, would decide whether Jones is innocent or not based on the prosecution’s evidence. If he is convicted, Jones’ appeal would be based on pretrial issues and not his guilt.

Last month, the defense asked that two of three charges be dismissed for lack of probable cause.

Jones was charged in March with third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 16-year-old girl; possession of child pornography; and exhibiting, selling, printing, offering or giving obscene material to a juvenile.

Grogin asked that the third-degree and obscene material charges be dismissed for lack of probable cause.

On May 11, Richards ruled that Jones will stand trial on the third-degree and possession of child pornography charges. He dismissed the obscene material charge.

At the Monday hearing, Grogin also asked Richards that a section of the complaint where the 16-year-old admitted to having sex with Jones in his home be amended.

The defense attorney says the allegation is that sex took place in Jones’ vehicle. County Attorney Brian Roverud agreed with Grogin, saying the victim’s statement indicates the incident occurred when Jones picked her up in Winnebago to take her to school in Blue Earth.