California man to go to trial on GSI charge

A California man will go to trial next year on a charge that he forced himself two years ago on his sleeping ex-girlfriend.

Alexander James Fernandes, 25, of Turlock, Calif., is charged with one count of Class A gross sexual imposition. His attorney, Gretchen Handy, said in district court in Minot on Wednesday that Fernandes will go to trial. Judge Richard Hagar said the trial will be set in January, February or March. Hagar also ordered Handy and Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Miller to get together to work out the details of a questionnaire that will be sent to prospective jurors in the case.

Fernandes allegedly assaulted the woman on Aug. 7, 2015, when she allowed him to stay overnight at her residence in Minot. According to court records, the two watched TV, had drinks, and he fell asleep in her bed. She allowed him to remain there and woke up in the early morning hours to find him forcing himself on her. She confronted him and he became angry and threatening. She reported the alleged assault to police hours later.

– Andrea Johnson