Albert Lea man enters not guilty plea to sexual assault of woman

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

An Albert Lea man has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman last March.

Joshua Andrew Bryand, 35, entered the plea Monday in Freeborn County District Court to third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving force or coercion.

Joshua Andrew Bryand

Joshua Andrew Bryand

A second charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct plus one first-degree charge were dismissed in February.

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Bryand is scheduled for a jury trial Oct. 21.

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said he may seek to reinstate the dismissed charges at a later time.

Court documents state Bryand had been drinking with the woman, his wife and another man prior to the alleged assault, which took place after the group went to sleep for the night at Bryand’s house on Fountain Street.

The woman — an acquaintance — reportedly fled on foot from the house after the alleged incident and was seen by two Albert Lea police officers running down Main Street, east of First Avenue, in pants, a short-sleeved shirt and no coat in winter.

When the officers approached the woman and offered to give her a ride to Wells Fargo bank — where she was going to be picked up by two friends — she declined and continued running down the street, court records stated.

Court files state officers described the woman as having a strong odor of alcohol on her breath and noted that she said that someone was following her.

The woman’s friends picked her up at the bank and took her to the Austin emergency room, after which she was taken to a Rochester hospital for a sexual assault exam. DNA found in the exam traced back to Bryand, according to reports.