- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A 25-year-old Eden Prairie man who lunged at a county prosecutor after being convicted in a sex-trafficking case was charged with assault Wednesday.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Jonathan Edwards with fourth-degree assault for his outburst in court Tuesday. The St. Paul Pioneer Press (https://bit.ly/1sXEh83 ) reported Edwards yelled and spit at a Ramsey County prosecutor, then jumped on a table and lunged at her. He was tackled by deputies but continued yelling.

Meanwhile, spectators started yelling at jurors and decrying the verdict as racist. The chaos spilled into the hallway as several deputies were called in to help bring order. Court employees were rushed into the judge’s chambers and jurors were given escorts from the building.

It’s unclear what jurisdiction will handle Edwards’ assault charge.

Ramsey County Prosecutor Karen Kugler said she wanted Edwards to be charged for his conduct in court.

“You can’t spit at a court officer,” she said.

Edwards and 22-year-old Kauser Mohamoud Yusuf, also of Eden Prairie, were convicted Tuesday of trafficking a 15-year-old girl for sex. Their sentencing is set for February.

Yusuf, who is nine months pregnant and said she has children, took the verdict differently. She collapsed to the floor crying and moaned, “Why? Why?”

Each was convicted of first-degree sex trafficking of a minor. Prosecutors say they took lewd photos of a 15-year-old girl, posted them online and arranged for men to have sex with her.

Yusuf told police she knew the girl, but “generally denied engaging in sex trafficking,” the criminal complaint said. Edwards denied knowing the victim.


Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, https://www.twincities.com



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