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St. Cloud Rapist to be Sentenced Today

James Bryson (Stearns County Jail)

ST. CLOUD — An accused rapist from St. Cloud who has pleaded guilty in a case where he violently assaulted and raped a woman last August is scheduled to be sentenced today.

23-year-old James Bryson pleaded guilty to one count of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a heinous element of torture. It means Bryson will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 22-and-a-half years. With good behavior, Bryson could be released in 15 years.

Bryson repeatedly choked, beat and raped a woman in August 2011.

According to the criminal complaint Bryson met the woman in the early morning hours before the two entered her apartment. Bryson started immediately punching the woman and choking her to the point where she thought she was going to die. Bryson then repeatedly raped 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. A grand jury then indicted Bryson on heightened charges which carries the life in prison sentence.

Bryson pleaded guilty in August.

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