Former Beulah Lead Police Officer Dustin Pekas leaves the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan in December after a motion hearing. Pekas is charged with felony sexual assault.

Trial for former Beulah Lead Police Officer Dustin Pekas has been reset and expanded to two days.

Pekas, 36, will stand trial on March 8 at the Mercer County Courthouse in Stanton. He is charged with felony sexual assault after reportedly admitting to sexual contact with a teenager last summer.

His 12-person felony jury trial was initially scheduled to begin Thursday. Court orders indicate a discovery process has yet to complete. A pre-sentence investigation with a sex offender risk assessment also must be completed before trial or other resolution.

South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick signed the orders Tuesday.

Pekas testified last month in Mandan at a motion hearing to suppress statements he made to investigators before he invoked counsel, alleging their interview was custodial.

Romanick later denied that request, ruling that Pekas' interview was noncustodial.

Prosecutor Ladd Erickson previously agreed to not use at trial Pekas' phone call to his wife from jail as well as his interview statements after his invocation of counsel.

After his charging, Beulah Police Chief Frank Senn fired Pekas, a five-year officer of the department. His peace officer's license also has since been revoked.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.


Crime and Courts Reporter