Warning: This post contains content that some readers may find disturbing.
A Minnesota woman says her male coworker did something rather despicable to her coffee, and she wanted the creep charged with sexual assault. However, the judge in the case said that there was no law forbidding what the man did, so he couldn’t be convicted of any crime, WCCO is reporting.
Now the Minnesota legislature is trying to tighten up The Gopher State’s sexual misconduct laws, so if something like this ever happens again, the offender can be prosecuted.
Pat Maahs had been working at a hardware store in New Brighton, Minnesota, for 26 years. Like a lot of workers, she relies on the Java Juice to help her get through the day.
“Generally, I make a cup and take it in a travel cup on my way to work. I finish that cup up about 10:30 a.m., maybe have one more cup during the day.”
One day in August 2014, she noticed a male coworker standing near her coffee.
“He looked over his shoulder, had the deer in the headlights look and promptly left the room, and when he left the room I looked down and here was a puddle on the desk.”
Maahs believes that the coworker has “fouled” her coffee on several other occasions, WQAD reports, because she claims that on other occasions her coffee had tasted “spoiled.”
“I went, ‘Oh my goodness,’ because that’s when I put it all together. That’s what I was actually tasting in my coffee from previous occasions.”
Maahs notified the police, and the unnamed perpetrator was charged with two counts of criminal sexual misconduct.
“It is a sexual assault. I was sexually assaulted.”
This week, a judge ruled that, because Minnesota law didn’t specifically prohibit what the coworker did, there was no basis for criminal charges. The judge suggested that Ms. Maahs try to convince the legislature to tighten up Minnesota’s sexual misconduct laws.
Representative Debra Hilstrom is working with her fellow lawmakers to have the type of acts Ms. Maahs’ coworker committed be considered a sex crime.
“[The new language in the law] says if you put your bodily fluids in someone else’s food that counts for criminal sexual conduct as well.”
Ms. Maahs will be undergoing STD tests for a year to make sure she didn’t pick up an infection from her contaminated coffee. She is also working with counselors, receiving the same treatment given to other victims of sex crimes.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Daniel Berehulak]