A sexual assault suspect whose jury conviction was overturned by the Minnesota Court of Appeals has now been sentenced to time served.
The sentence of Cody Lyle Bergendahl, 36, of Windom, was reduced from 12 years in prison to probation. He had already served nearly two years in jail or prison.
Bergendahl was accused of raping a woman he knows at a rural Le Sueur residence in 2017.
A Le Sueur County jury found Bergendahl guilty of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2019. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Bergendahl appealed and the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict last fall after finding one of the jurors might have been biased and should have been dismissed from serving on the jury.
The juror’s daughter had been abused by a boyfriend and the juror gave conflicting statements about whether she could be impartial in Bergendahl’s case, according to the appellate ruling.
Bergendahl had spent about 21 months in jail or prison before he was released on bond pending retrial.
Bergendahl and the prosecution reached a plea deal in September and a new sentencing hearing occurred Wednesday in Le Sueur County District Court.
Bergendahl entered an Alford plea on a reduced charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He did not admit guilt but conceded another conviction would have been likely if the case was retried.
He was convicted of a felony but it will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he successfully completes probation. He must complete at least two years of probation with requirements including sex offender treatment; a third year may be waived if he is meeting requirements.
Bergendahl also will be placed on the predatory offender registry.