FARGO — A 27-year-old personal trainer accused of sex crimes against women he allegedly recruited for so-called medical studies has pleaded not guilty.

David Sayler, owner of Summit Fitness, 5171 51st Ave. S. in Fargo, was not present for his arraignment Friday, July 12, in Cass County District Court. His attorney, Jesse Lange, entered not guilty pleas on his behalf for misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and disorderly conduct.

Lange, who's part of the Aaland Law Firm, said Sayler retained the firm at the beginning of March. Over the course of four months, Lange said they've had multiple conversations with law enforcement and prosecutors.

"This is something (Sayler) is taking seriously," Lange said.

Prosecutors allege Sayler asked women to take part in so-called medical studies that involved sexual contact, and two agreed to do so. Sayler is accused of grinding against one woman’s rear end, and he allegedly masturbated in front of another woman, according to court documents.

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The alleged offenses occurred between Oct. 1, 2018, and Feb. 28, 2019.

No contact orders with the two victims were issued, and Sayler's next court appearance is slated for Oct. 10.

Sayler faces a related charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Clay County District Court.