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Stewartville man accused of criminal sexual conduct, assault

A Stewartville man faces criminal charges after he allegedly tried to assault a woman last month.

Brett Gene Bernard, 42, of 10306 County Road 1 S.E., was charged in Olmsted County District Court with third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies; interfering with a 911 call, a gross misdemeanor; and two counts of misdemeanor domestic assault.

The charges stem from an incident March 8, when deputies were dispatched to a residence for a 911 hangup. The deputies were met by Bernard, who had what appeared to be blood on his face and shirt; he told deputies he'd bumped his nose earlier in the day, the report says.

A woman at the home said she and Bernard had argued about their relationship. According to the complaint, that's when Bernard got on top of the woman, held her down and covered her mouth. Bernard then attempted to sexually assault her, the report says.

The woman was able to kick Bernard away, get up and get her phone, but Bernard took it away and hung it up, she told authorities.

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Bernard said the woman had hit him twice, and he grabbed her to stop her from hitting him, according to the criminal complaint.

The most serious charge — the third-degree count — carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $30,000 fine, or both. The misdemeanors are both punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Bernard's next court appearance has been set for April 23. He's been released on his own recognizance.

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