Clay County jurors on Wednesday convicted a 54-year-old man of attacking a woman inside a Kearney church restroom.
Richard L. Bjorgo of Excelsior Springs was found guilty of first-degree assault, attempted sexual assault and armed criminal action for the incident that took place on May 4, 2015. Prosecutors said Bjorgo stabbed and tried to sexually assault a 40-year-old woman.
Jurors deliberated for about an hour before reaching a guilty verdict.
Prosecutors said the victim told police that as she exited a bathroom stall, a stranger grabbed her around her shoulders and neck.
The woman tried to fight off her attacker by kicking and screaming. She ended up on the floor. Bjorgo stabbed at her with a knife. She kicked Bjorgo in the crotch, and he kicked her twice in the head before he ran out of the bathroom.
Police later noted that an earring had been ripped from the victim’s ear, and she had several cuts on her hands and bruises and scratches on other parts of her body.
Prosecutors said Bjorgo was questioned after his arrest and said he had been smoking methamphetamine. He had stopped at the church to use the bathroom. When he saw the woman, he said he thought she was “cute” and wanted to see and touch her breasts.
In 1993, Bjorgo was armed with a knife when he confronted a woman inside the restroom of a south Kansas City restaurant. He did not harm her. He was placed on probation.
The following year, Bjorgo surprised a 20-year-old woman inside an Olathe grocery store restroom and attempted to strangle her with a rope. The woman fought back and pulled the rope from his hands. A Johnson County jury found Bjorgo guilty of attempted murder. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In 2003, Bjorgo was charged in Jackson County with attacking a female employee in the restroom of a Blue Springs restaurant. He dragged her into a restroom, where he struck and choked her before running away.
Bjorgo is scheduled to be sentenced in Clay County on Oct. 13 and faces multiple life sentences, Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White said in a written statement.