MINOT, N.D. — A lawyer for a California man accused of sexual assault in North Dakota wants the case thrown out because the state waited so long to file a charge against him.

The Minot Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/2tuRiOs) that 24-year-old Alexander Fernandes, of Turlock, Calif., is charged with Class A felony gross sexual imposition for the August 2015 incident.

Fernandes allegedly had sex with a former girlfriend without her consent when she was sleeping. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney Gretchen Handy says the fact the case was not charged for 18 months will make it difficult for her client to recall events. Prosecutors say the delay was due to the police investigation and not intentional.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled Friday in Minot.

Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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