South Central District Judge Bruce Haskell has dismissed a charge against a Mandan man accused of participating in the rape of a woman.
Haskell said the prosecution presented “flimsy” evidence that Bryan Quiroz, 29, was one of three people who allegedly held a 28-year-old woman down and raped her.
Quiroz was charged March 7 with Class AA gross sexual imposition. Haskell dismissed the charge on Monday but said prosecutors can refile it later if they obtain more evidence after further investigation.
The woman had reported three men held her down after watching movies and drinking at her boyfriend’s apartment. She referred to one of the men as “Quinton” and said he was her boyfriend’s brother, Mandan Police Sgt. Jay Gruebele testified during a short preliminary hearing. He said the boyfriend reported he did not have a brother but that Quiroz had been at his apartment and he often called him his brother.
Gruebele also testified Quiroz told another officer that the woman had been “all over him.” He read from the other officer’s police report that Quiroz said, “We may have had sex, but she wanted it, too.”
Gruebele testified the woman was distraught while he interviewed her, and a sexual assault nurse examiner reported that the woman had a bruise on her arm and vaginal injuries.
After defense attorney Tom Glass cross examined Gruebele, Haskell told Morton County Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Grosinger that the evidence was not sufficient. The judge said he rarely dismisses such cases at preliminary hearings, and he said it seemed likely that something serious happened to the woman. However, he questioned whether there was any evidence Quiroz was one of the men in the apartment.
“I think we’ve got way too many As and Ds without Bs and Cs in the middle,” Haskell said.
No one else has been charged in the incident. In court, Gruebele said he has a name of one possible suspect but the third man remains unidentified.