A former UFC fighter accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage youth has been convicted after a weeklong trial in Eugene, Oregon.
Gerald Strebendt, 40, was found guilty in a Lane County Circuit Court on Tuesday. He was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. Until then, he remains an inmate of the Lane County Jail.
This is not the former professional mixed martial artist’s first run-in with the law. Strebendt was convicted in 2015 for killing a man in a road rage incident where he used a semiautomatic rifle to kill David Paul Crofut, 53, in January 2014 after a traffic collision.
He initially was charged with murder for the death but was given an unusual and unexpected plea deal the following year which dropped the murder charge and allowed him to plead guilty to a far less serious count of criminally negligent homicide with a firearm. He was released from state prison in 2017.
One year later, Eugene police arrested Strebendt, who was affiliated with a martial arts studio in the area. He was coaching the teenager he was accused of sexually abusing, Eugene police said.
Strebendt had one fight with the UFC, a first round loss to Josh Thomson at UFC 44. His pro MMA record stood at 9-7 and spanned from 2001 to 2008. His nickname was “The Finishing Machine.”
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