Sexual Assault Case Against Sheridan Man Appears Headed for Trial

A pretrial conference was held Thursday in Fourth Judicial District Court in Sheridan for a Sheridan man charged with first degree sexual assault. Sheridan Media’s Ron Richter has the details.

Sexual Assault Trial

A three-day jury trial in District Court is scheduled to begin Monday May 16 for Bennett Walseth who is charged with one count of sexual assault in the first degree. According to court documents, Walseth was charged with the alleged  crime that occurred during the summer of 2019 at a residence in Sheridan County after he allegedly inflicted sexual intrusion on a victim who was physically helpless and did not consent. Sexual assault in the first degree is punishable by at least five years in prison an no more than 50 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

District Court Judge Darci Phillips said the jury trial will be held according to pre-covid guidelines, meaning essentially that 50 prospective jurors will be brought into the District Court room for jury selection the morning of May 16. All of the jury trials in Fourth Judicial District Court during the pandemic have occurred where the prospective jurors are broken up into two groups of 25, one group in the morning and one in the afternoon for the jury selection process. Phillips said the prospective jurors and anyone attending the trial can wear a mask if they would like.

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