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Jury finds 31-year-old man guilty of Rape

A Cass County jury on Friday found a 31-year-old man guilty in a rape in a Fargo apartment more than three years ago. The decision follows a trial for Jimmie Lee Bates of Fargo on gross sexual imposition, a charge accusing him of raping a woman M...

A Cass County jury on Friday found a 31-year-old man guilty in a rape in a Fargo apartment more than three years ago.

The decision follows a trial for Jimmie Lee Bates of Fargo on gross sexual imposition, a charge accusing him of raping a woman May 20, 2000. The two met at a Fargo nightclub and Bates later went to an apartment where the woman where the woman was staying overnight with a friend.

The woman said her attacker held a knife to her throat. Bates said the two engaged in consensual sex.

The five woman, seven man jury announced its verdict about 1:20 p.m. Friday after about five hours of deliberation. The trial started Tuesday with jury selection.

A judge will sentence Bates at a later date.

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The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison term and lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. He'll be sentenced after undergoing a background check.

The woman submitted to testing at a Fargo hospital after the incident and nurses obtained DNA samples for a suspect.

This past February, nearly three years after the woman reported the incident to police, a state crime lab chemist found Bates' DNA samples matched the profile. He was in the Cass County Jail on a felony charge of corruption of a minor, which was later amended to delinquency of a minor, when officers obtained his DNA samples for the rape charge.

The delinquency of a minor charge, a misdemeanor, stemmed from sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl.

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