The trial of a 45-year-old Mankato man accused of sexually assaulting a North Mankato woman got underway this week. John Fitzgerald Thomas is facing two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The 54-year-old victim reported that Thomas broke into her home at around 3 o’clock in the morning and physically abused her before raping her. Thomas has denied the allegations, saying he knew the victim but hadn’t seen her for more than a month at the time of the alleged assault. His DNA was allegedly found on the victim however. Jury selection began this week, and the trial is expected to wrap up at some point today (THU).