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Grand Jury Indictment Carries Possible Life Sentence for Accused Rapist

James Bryson (Stearns County Jail)

ST. CLOUD — A Stearns County grand jury has indicted an accused rapist with heightened charges, meaning 21-year-old James Bryson now faces life in prison.   Bryson is accused of repeatedly choking, beating and raping a woman back on August 22nd.

According to the criminal complaint he met her in the early morning hours before the two entered her apartment. Bryson allegedly started immediately punching the woman and choking her to the point where she thought she was going to die. Bryson is accused of repeatedly raping the woman over a two hour span until she was finally able to escape to a next door apartment.

Police later found Bryson in the Mississippi River. He was arrested wearing only a white t-shirt and naked from the waist down. Officers also found Bryson’s jeans and wallet in the woman’s apartment. Police say he admitted to “messing up a girl, really bad.”

The Stearns County Attorney’s Office first charged Bryson with first degree criminal sexual conduct but that charge carried a maximum 30-year prison sentence. Minnesota law requires a grand jury indictment for a life sentence.

Bryson is expected to have his first appearance on the new charges yet this week. He remains held on $2-million bail.

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