[CW: The following story includes reference to a sexual assault of an underage victim]
Gerald Strebendt, 40, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison with two years and eight months of probation by a court in Lane County, OR this week (per KEZI). Strebendt is reportedly eligible for credit for time served as well as good behavior. He must register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.
Last month, Strebendt was convicted in a jury trial on charges of sexual abuse. The abuse occurred when he was a trainer at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu in Eugene, OR. His victim was a 14-year-old he was coaching at the gym.
During his trial he was accused of sexually abusing a second individual, who stated they were 15-years-old at the time of the alleged abuse.
Strebendt’s sentencing had been delayed after two jurors wrote letters to the court expressing concerns over their jury’s 10-2 guilty verdict. KEZI quoted Strebendt’s attorney Bryan Boender, who said that one of the jurors disclosed that another juror had “past experience that caused her to believe the victims in the case.”
Boender, who filed an ultimately unsuccessful motion for a new trial for Strebendt, stated that this was evidence of a “prototypical bias.”
Deputy District Attorney Katherine Green argued that jurors are permitted to rely on past experience when rendering a decision. Judge Clara Rigmaiden, who denied Boender’s request for a new trial, said there is no evidence of misconduct by the jurors during the sentencing process for this case.
Strebendt, who was one of Eddie Bravo’s first Brazilian jiu jitsu students, fought in professional MMA between 2001 and 2008. In 2003 he lost his sole UFC contest to Josh Thomson.
Strebendt’s past interactions with the law include being a state witness after an MMA reporter tried to hire him to murder a love rival and serving two years for negligent homicide after he shot a man during an altercation resulting from a vehicle collision. Strebendt had been out of prison for eight months before he was arrested for sexual abuse last April.