NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. - A Minnesota woman said she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker, but a judge dismissed the charges because a loophole in state law does not make what she says he did illegal.
Editor's note: This story contains material that some readers may find disturbing due to its graphic nature.
Pat Maahs said she found fluid on her desk last August after catching a co-worker standing near the edge of it, near her cup of coffee.
"He looked over his shoulder, and the deer-in-the-headlights look and promptly left the room," she said. "And when he left the room, I looked down at the desk and here was a puddle on the desk."
That's when she realized he had ejaculated into her coffee cup. And it wasn't the first time.
Maahs thought she had been tasting spoiled coffee over the previous six months.
The co-worker admitted to ejaculating into Maahs's cup, and he was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.
The judge, though, dismissed those charges, saying there was no sex law that existed that covered the behavior.
The judge suggested she lobby lawmakers to close the loophole. Representative Debra Hilstrom began an effort to change the law.
"This just says if you put your bodily fluids in someone else's food, that counts for criminal sexual conduct as well," Hilstrom said.
The proposed bill passed the public safety committee, and was headed to the house floor. If it passes, it would make the conduct of Maahs's co-worker a felony, and they would have to register as a sex offender.
For Maahs, though, the change goes beyond what happened to her.
"This isn't just protecting me because someone was attracted to me. It's protecting everyone in society in general," Maahs said.