By LIZ VERLEY
Michael William Sahr, 33, Little Falls, cannot be charged with criminal sexual conduct a second time in Stearns County for the same crime he was charged with in May 2008.
The State Supreme Court’s ruling, which was released April 25, prevents Stearns County from recharging Sahr because of the protection of double jeopardy.
After a jury had been picked for the 2008 trial, Daniel Benson, attorney for Sahr, said an error had been made in the complaint.
The complaint against Sahr was dismissed by Stearns County District Court Judge Thomas Knapp.
Knapp expressed his concerns about double jeopardy and denied motions to sign a new complaint which would have charged Sahr with second degree criminal sexual conduct or to allow the county to amend the original complaint.
Upon appeal by Stearns County, the Court of Appeals directed Knapp to sign the complaint charging Sahr with second degree criminal sexual conduct.
The Appeals Court decision was appealed by Sahr and in October 2010, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
The Supreme Court’s decision, April 25, reversed the Appeals Court decision.
The Stearns County Attorney’s office is reviewing its options with a possible petition for review by the U. S. Supreme Court.
Sahr was previously convicted of criminal sexual conduct in both Morrison and Mille Lacs counties.