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Dilworth man sentenced for sexual assault of disabled woman

MOORHEAD - A Dilworth man who was earlier found guilty by a jury of assaulting a physically and mentally disabled woman was sentenced Friday, Nov. 3, to 12 years in prison.With good behavior, Gerald K. Ackerson, 50, could be released after servin...

Gerald K. Ackerson
Gerald K. Ackerson

MOORHEAD – A Dilworth man who was earlier found guilty by a jury of assaulting a physically and mentally disabled woman was sentenced Friday, Nov. 3, to 12 years in prison.

With good behavior, Gerald K. Ackerson, 50, could be released after serving eight years, with the remainder of his sentenced served on supervised release.

He was found guilty in July of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Clay County District Judge Galen Vaa sentenced him on the first-degree count, calling the crime a brutal offense and despicable.

According to a court complaint:

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Dilworth police received a report of a sexual assault in May 2016.

A woman told officers she had been smoking meth with Ackerson, who was staying in the same apartment as the woman and her boyfriend, when Ackerson attacked her and forced her to have anal intercourse.

She said she tried to push him away but was unable, and said he continued even though she told him his actions were unwanted.

The woman told investigators she is physically and mentally disabled due to a crash several years ago.

The woman was taken to a hospital, and a report indicated she had suffered a number of bruises and other injuries, the complaint stated.

At Friday’s sentencing hearing, prosecutor Lori Conroy read a statement the woman wrote in which she said the crime was a traumatic event in her life, an event that was magnified by the trial and media coverage of the case.

Ackerman’s attorney, Brian Toay, said his client maintains his innocence. But Toay acknowledged that given the jury’s verdict the 12-year sentence was appropriate under the law.

Related Topics: MOORHEADCRIME
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