Fridley man convicted in assault of 84-year-old

  • Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 20, 2011 - 11:05 PM

Ahmed Sule, 24, could be sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.

An Anoka County jury on Tuesday convicted a 24-year-old man of sexually assaulting an elderly man in the victim's Fridley home last year.

Ahmed Sule, also of Fridley, was found guilty of four felony counts of sexual assault and one felony count of burglary. The jury, which returned its verdict after nearly three hours, acquitted him of one felony count of attempted sexual assault.

Sule won't be sentenced for about two months, but he could be facing more than 30 years in prison. Assistant county attorney Wade Kish declined to comment.

Sule was charged last fall, but in April a judge rejected critical DNA evidence in the case and he was released from jail. Hours later, however, investigators were able to obtain new DNA evidence, arrest Sule and re-charge him.

During the trial, which started Thursday, the jury was shown video testimony taken from the 84-year-old victim in March. The man died on May 1, although authorities could not link the assault to his death.

The judge told jurors the man was unavailable to testify in person but did not say it was because he had died.

Because Sule's attorney had been allowed to cross-examine the man during his videotaped testimony, the testimony was allowed to be played during the trial.

The man was receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment when the assailant broke into his house last September. The man said he suffered four broken ribs and a fractured spine during the assault.

The victim was legally blind, and the importance of DNA in the case was stressed in Kish's opening statement. In her opening statement, Jill Brisbois, Sule's attorney, said the evidence alone wasn't enough to prove Sule's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

She couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

David Chanen • 612-673-4465

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