A Blaine man has been sentenced to serve time in the Ramsey County workhouse after being convicted of ejaculating into a co-worker's coffee, on the same day Gov. Mark Dayton signed a law making such actions illegal under the state's sexual assault laws.
John Robert Lind, 34, was sentenced to 90 days during a court hearing Friday. But that sentence was stayed if he serves 45 days and follows several conditions, according to the Star Tribune.
Lind was originally charged last fall with two fifth-degree criminal sexual assault charges, which are gross misdemeanors.
But a judge dismissed the charges in November because Minnesota's sexual assault law does not define contact with semen as sexual contact; it must include touching a victim's "intimate parts," the Pioneer Press reports.
Instead, Lind pleaded guilty in April to a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure.
As a result of the publicity around this case, Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday – at the same time Lind was in court – signed into a law a measure specifically making it illegal to put bodily fluids in another person's food or beverage. Such activity would be classified as a gross misdemeanor.
The victim in the Lind case, Patricia Maahs, lobbied for the law change.
New Brighton police got a report from a woman who worked at Beisswengers hardware store who said she thought her coworker, Lind, was “leaving bodily fluids” in her workspace.
Maahs told police she returned to her work area the afternoon of Aug. 26 to notice Lind standing at her desk with his back to her and his hands near his genitals. He noticed her and quickly left the room.
Maahs went to her desk and noticed a strong smell coming from the area and her coffee-filled cup. She also found a “large amount of clear liquid” on her desk and dripping onto the floor.
In an interview, Lind admitted to police he’d ejaculated onto the woman’s desk and other items four different times, adding he knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway.
The woman told police she’d had an ongoing issue with a foul taste in her coffee, but just thought it was spoiled cream. She hadn’t considered it may have been tampered with until that day.
She said she’d had problems with Lind before, saying he’d approach her with his zipper down. She told him if he did that again she’d report him.