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Closing arguments scheduled Friday for Crosby mayoral candidate

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The jury trial continued Thursday for Crosby mayoral candidate James Jesse Hunter, who was charged March 22 with fifth-degree sexual assault-non-consensual sex contact and disorderly conduct in Crow Wing District Court.

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Closing arguments are scheduled Friday.

Hunter, 63, who has a Deerwood address according to court records, pleaded not guilty March 30 to the charges that stems from a May 26, 2011, incident where Hunter allegedly touched the breasts of a female cook at the Crosby Cafe in Crosby.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Hunter:

• The Crosby Police Department received a report on May 26, 2011, that Hunter had been making inappropriate sexual comments to a waitress at the Crosby Cafe, and that he had touched the breasts of a female cook.

• The cook explained that she was working at the cafe and made a comment to Hunter about his messy hair. Hunter then came up to her and put his head into her breasts and said something to the effect that he could part his hair down to his ears with her breasts. The woman was startled by the contact and she jumped back and told him not to do that.

• James Hiller, the cafe owner, told officers he was behind the counter when the incident took place. Hiller said that the cook made the comment to Hunter about his hair being messy. Hunter then put his hands through his hair and put his head down in front of her. Hiller could not see whether Hunter’s head made contact with her chest. Hiller said she stepped back and appeared shocked. According to Hiller, Hunter made a comment to the cook that was sexual in nature and told her she was a real trooper.

• A patron of the cafe told officers that he saw Hunter put his head between her breasts and shake his head. He also said that Hunter made some sort of rude comment. The patron said that the woman kind of laughed and covered her chest with her arms. He could tell she was uncomfortable.

• During an interview between Hunter and Crosby police, Hunter confirmed that the cook made the comment to him about his messy hair and that he put his head down and told her to fix it. According to Hunter, the woman rubbed his head with her hand. He denied touching her breasts. He went on to say that he could see it being a problem if he grabbed her, but that he didn’t see what the big deal would be if his head touched her.

If convicted of fifth-degree sexual assault, Hunter could face a maximum sentence of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine of both. The disorderly conduct count has a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.

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