Olmsted County Jury Acquits Man and Woman of Sex Assault Charges
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - An Olmsted County jury has found a Rochester woman and a Fillmore County man not guilty of sexual assault charges.
The jury acquitted 49-year-old Brian Russell Bird and 21-year-old Kendra Ann Gusa of all the charges they faced in connection with sexual contact with another woman at a Rochester hotel last summer. The LeRoy man was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and a gross misdemeanor count of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Gusa also faced a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, along with aiding and abetting third-degree criminal sexual conduct and aiding and abetting fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, a woman told Rochester police that she was out for a walk with Gusa, who is described in the court document as the alleged victim's roommate. During the walk, the victim indicated that Gusa talked to her about the two of them meeting a man.
The charges alleged that Bird picked up the two women in a van and drove them to a Rochester hotel. She told police Gusa kept her locked inside the van despite her repeated statements expressing her desire to leave and then blocked her from leaving the hotel room, where she alleged that Bird sexually assaulted her.
She told police the sexual assault stopped when she told Bird she would vomit. The criminal complaint says the woman told police that Bird and Gusa then began having sex in the bed and Gusa told her to join them. At first, she refused but told investigators she went and joined them in the bed after Gusa gave her a "mean look."
When interviewed by police investigators, Gusa stated that the victim consented to everything that happened on that night.
The joint trial that led to Bird and Gusa's acquittal began on Monday with jury selection in Olmsted County Court.