A Bismarck man recently sentenced to serve four years in prison for sexually assaulting an infant submitted fraudulent letters of support on his own behalf before sentencing and should be resentenced, Burleigh County State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer alleges.
Officials say Andrew Glasser -- whose sentence drew widespread criticism -- signed the name of a former college acquaintance to a letter that was submitted prior to his guilty plea and sentencing. The man after learning of the alleged forgery sent a notarized letter to the court dated Feb. 25, in which he asks for his name to be removed from the state court website.
“I did not write or submit a document in support of Andrew Glasser nor did I give my permission for anyone to sign it on my behalf,” the letter states. The man, who is a special education teacher, said he was “furious” his name was used to sign a false letter.
Two more letters are referenced in a brief Lawyer filed Thursday. Glasser has “perpetrated a fraud upon the courts,” she says in the document.
Glasser, 34, was interviewed as part of the state's attorney investigation into the letters. He did not have permission from those whose names appear on the letters "to author or sign the letters," Lawyer's brief states. She alleges that he admitted to forging the documents.
“By using his attorneys to intentionally provide false information for the Court to use at the sentencing hearing, he has impugned the integrity of the judicial process,” Lawyer says in the document.
Glasser's attorneys, Robert Bolinske and Lloyd Suhr, were “unaware of the fraudulent nature of the documents” when they were filed, Lawyer’s brief says.
Bolinske and Suhr could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
The charges against Glasser stemmed from a report in October 2017. The baby allegedly had an injury evident of sexual abuse, rib fractures caused by squeezing, and trauma injuries to her femur, tibia and fibula in one leg which were in different stages of healing. Glasser’s cellphone had been purposely reset to hide evidence, and a forensic search of his computers showed the intentional downloading of child pornography images, according to Lawyer.
The child suffered a “significant injury,” and three doctors said it was a “penetrating wound,” Lawyer told South Central District Judge David Reich during the sentencing hearing.
Glasser on Feb. 24 entered an Alford plea to a charge of gross sexual imposition under the terms of an agreement that reduced his charge from a AA felony to an A felony. The parties did not agree to sentencing terms. Reich sentenced Glasser to 10 years in prison with all but four years suspended. Letters of support can be considered by judges when determining a sentence.
Reaction to Glasser's sentence ranged from disbelief to anger in social media comments and emails to the Tribune from around the country. Reich when contacted by the Tribune said judicial rules "ethically precluded" him from commenting on the sentence. It wasn't clear how much weight Reich gave the letters of support when sentencing Glasser.
Lawyer also asks the court to remove the documents from public record, saying they “could cause harm to the victims of the forgeries.”
The state’s rules of criminal procedure allow the court to correct a sentence imposed in an illegal manner, Lawyer said.
Glasser or an attorney on his behalf has until March 30 to file a response, at which time a judge will issue an order on the matter, Lawyer said. The next steps in the case will be determined by that order.
Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com
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