A Minnesota man who said he ejaculated into his co-worker's coffee because he was attracted to her pleaded guilty to lewd behavior charges on Thursday.
John Robert Lind was accused of putting semen in a female co-worker's coffee and on her desk last year. Police arrested the man on felony sex crime charges, but a loophole in the state's legal code led a judge to dismiss them.
Prosecutors instead filed misdemeanor indecent exposure (engaging in lewd and indecent behavior) charges against Lind, according to CBS Minnesota. He pleaded guilty to those in court Thursday. His sentencing is set for May 22.
The statute that allowed Lind to avoid more serious charges holds that a defendant can't be charged with felony sex crimes over indirect sexual contact. Essentially, the judge said Lind's disgusting conduct didn't constitute sex assault because the accuser didn't actually come into contact with his bodily fluids.
But Lind's accuser, Pat Maahs, says she drank the coffee that contained the defendant's bodily fluids. The Huffington Post does not usually name victims in sex assault cases, but Maahs has gone public with her story and is fighting back.
She told WTVR that she had noticed a bad taste in her coffee over a period of six months, but that she only pieced things together once she caught Lind with a "deer in headlights" look while he was standing near her desk one day.
Upon inspecting her desk, she told police she noticed a strong odor that resembled urine, but was a bit different and strange. She also saw a puddle of fluid on her desk.
"That’s when I put it together," Maahs said. "That’s what I had been tasting over previous occasions."
Maahs wants the statute changed so that Lind will have to register as a sex offender. Her proposal is gaining traction at the state level.
A bill introduced by Rep. Debra Hilstrom (D-Brooklyn Center) would make "adulteration by bodily fluid" a misdemeanor, tack on a felony if "a person ingests the adulterated substance," and force felony convicts to register as sex offenders.
"Clearly [in Lind's case], prosecutors thought criminal sexual conduct was the most appropriate charge," Hilstrom told HuffPost Crime. "The defendant confessed, so the facts weren’t in question, but the judge had to ask if the action met the definition.
In the original criminal complaint, cops said Lind denied that he put semen in Maahs' coffee out of malice, instead insisting that he did it because he liked her and was attracted to her, according to CBS Minnesota.