Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Courtroom gambit pays off for rider

The attorneys were presented with a question late Wednesday night: The jury hearing a case of alleged sexual assault had reached a verdict on one charge but could not reach a verdict on a second. Without knowing whether the verdict was guilty or ...

Giir Biar

The attorneys were presented with a question late Wednesday night:

The jury hearing a case of alleged sexual assault had reached a verdict on one charge but could not reach a verdict on a second.

Without knowing whether the verdict was guilty or not guilty, the prosecutor and defense attorney could accept a partial verdict, settling the case, or opt for a mistrial and the possibility of a new trial on the original charges.

Their decision to accept the partial verdict turned into a victory for Giir Biar, 39, who was accused of inappropriately touching a woman while she slept on a Greyhound bus in June.

The Clay County District Court jury found Biar not guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. It was unable to reach a verdict on a charge of fourth-degree assault.

ADVERTISEMENT

Clay County Attorney Brian Melton declined to discuss the decision, other than to say he believed the state presented a strong case.

It included testimony from a woman who said she was sleeping on a bus as it drove through Clay County when she awoke to find Biar touching her.

The woman, who was 18 at the time of the incident, said Biar touched her genital area and one of her breasts.

Biar testified he had sexual contact with the woman and he believed it was consensual because their legs touched while they were seated side by side.

Defense attorney Kenneth Kludt said the jury, which deliberated for about seven hours, worked hard to decide whether the state had proven each element of the charges.

He said he believed that his client, who had been in custody since his arrest in June, would be staying with a friend or relative in the Fargo area, but may be moving on soon.

Kludt said Biar was on his way to Seattle and possibly Alaska when he was arrested at the Fargo bus depot where the Greyhound bus carrying Biar and the woman stopped the night of June 19.

A misdemeanor charge of sexual assault stemming from the same bus ride remains pending against Biar in Cass County District Court, and there is an active warrant for his arrest.

ADVERTISEMENT

Biar was released after his trial in Clay County because there was no Cass County hold on him.

Cass County typically does not pursue extradition in misdemeanor cases, said Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Leah Viste.

Reporter Brittany Lawonn contributed to this report

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
What To Read Next
Host Bryan Piatt is joined by Matt Entz, head coach of the North Dakota State Bison football team, to discuss the pressures of leading the program and how mental health is addressed with his players.
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.
The Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football in January is urging people to learn how to save lives the way his was saved.