Rochester man pleads not guilty to charges of drugging, sexually assaulting woman

(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester man pleaded not guilty to charges of forcibly drugging and sexually assaulting a Burnsville woman in Olmsted County Court.

Harold David Short, 57, faces charges of 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct, including penetration, 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct–nonconsensual sexual contact, and felony use of drugs to injure or facilitate crime.

According to court documents, police responded to a southwest Rochester hospital on Dec. 30, 2021, after being told that a woman, considered a vulnerable adult, had been sexually assaulted over the court of several previous days.

The woman, who has a mental disability, told police that Short had taken her from a group home to a home on 20th Avenue in Rochester.

The woman told police Short forcibly injected her with drugs and sexually assaulted her, according to court documents.

She also said Short took her to a fast-food restaurant in Rochester, then to a cabin in Alma, Wisconsin, and did not let her leave his presence until he dropped her off at the Southeast Regional Crisis Center (SERCC) on Dec. 30.

Short pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday, March 14.

He is scheduled to appear in Olmsted County Court for a pretrial hearing Sept. 14, 2023, with a jury trial Sept. 18.