An Excelsior Springs man was sentenced Friday in Clay County Circuit Court to life in prison plus 215 years for attacking a woman inside a Kearney church restroom.
Richard L. Bjorgo, 54, was found guilty in July 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.
Prosecutors said the victim told investigators 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 groin, and he kicked her twice in the head before he ran out of the bathroom.
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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.
“This was a nightmare for the victim,” Clay County Prosecutor Daniel L. White said in a written statement.
Prosecutors said Bjorgo was questioned after his arrest. Bjorgo 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.
Bjorgo was sentenced to life in prison for assault, 15 years for the attempted sexual abuse, and 100 years for each of the two counts of armed criminal action.
Circuit Court Judge Shane T. Alexander ordered the sentences run consecutively.
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 startled a woman inside an Olathe grocery store restroom and attempted to strangle her with a rope. The woman fought back and yanked the rope from his hands. Bjorgo was convicted of attempted murder and 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’s behavior shows he just can’t be left among the rest of society,” White said. “He is a walking threat to all women.”