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Ruling pending for North Iowa man accused of sexually abusing child

FOREST CITY | A North Iowa man's trial before a judge on Winnebago County child sexual abuse charges ended Thursday.

District Court Judge Gregg Rosenbladt will make a ruling within 30 days in the case of Chad Allen Bonner, 48, of Britt.

Bonner's trial began Tuesday. 

Bonner was charged with two felony counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one misdemeanor count of indecent contact with a child in June 2017, according to court records.

Rosenbladt dismissed the indecent contract charge on Jan. 29.

In Iowa law, rape and sexual assault charges are called "sexual abuse."

Bonner is accused of abusing two children under the age of 12 between January 2005 and September 2008, court documents say.

According to court records, Bonner has previously been convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in Cerro Gordo County in 1991, and of sexual exploitation of a minor in Winnebago County in 2010.

Bonner is currently on the Iowa sex offender registry list. He waived his right to a jury trial in his current case, and is being held at the Winnebago County Jail.

CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette 

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks prior to the ribbon cutting and open house of the new Adolescent Residential Addiction Treatment North Iowa Campus on Thursday in Mason City.

CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette 

Top of Iowa Conference Tournament in Forest City.

Senate panel gives OK to heartbeat bill

DES MOINES (AP) | Iowa would ban most abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy under a bill that received preliminary approval Thursday in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The so-called heartbeat bill faces several more legislative votes and its future is uncertain. If the measure becomes law, it likely faces litigation by opponents who argue it violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings that affirm women have a legal right to abortion.

The bill would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation allows for abortions at a later period to save a pregnant woman's life. A physician who knowingly and intentionally performs an abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected would face a felony, punishable with prison time and a fine of up to $7,500.

Such a ban is not in effect anywhere in the country. Ohio lawmakers have made several attempts to enact such a policy, but Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed the measure when it reached his desk.

A three-person subcommittee in the Iowa Senate held public testimony on the bill before the panel's two Republicans signed off on the measure. It now heads to a full committee, which is expected to vote next week.

GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds has repeatedly indicated she is anti-abortion. Her press secretary, Brenna Smith, would not comment on the bill but added in an email Thursday that the governor "believes in protecting life and has said she will never stop working to protecting the unborn."

Sen. Amy Sinclair, an Allerton Republican who helped advanced the measure, said she dismisses any notion the bill is "a war on women."

"It is not health care. It is killing women," she said. "And that is a war on women."

Iowa DOT webcam 

North Iowa remains under a winter weather advisory through 7 p.m. Monday.  Roads south of Mason City, near Ames and the Des Moines metro area, were reported to be completely covered with snow. This pile-up closed a portion of southbound Interstate 35 near Ames. 

Mary Pieper /