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FOREST CITY | A Britt man convicted last month on child sexual abuse charges faces a mandatory life sentence. 

Chad Allen Bonner, 48, will be officially sentenced at 11 a.m. May 22 in Winnebago County District Court in Forest City. 

Judge Gregg Rosenbladt ruled on April 24 that Bonner, who he found guilty on April 6 of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, is the same person convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in May 1991. 

In Iowa second-degree sexual abuse is usually punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

However, according to state law that penalty is enhanced to life in prison if the defendant has a prior conviction of second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse or lascivious acts with a child. 

In his current case, Bonner was accused of abusing two girls he knew from January 2005 to September 2008 in Winnebago County.

Bonner was found guilty by Rosenbladt after waiving his right to a jury trial. The trial before the judge was Feb. 6-8.

Before reading the verdict in court on April 6 in Mason City, Rosenbladt detailed the years of abuse Bonner committed against the girls, which included him reaching his hand down their pants and touching their genitals.

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Both girls initially denied the sex abuse when interviewed by the Department of Human Services in 2008, but later told authorities about the acts of sex abuse, which occurred in Forest City and Thompson.

In Iowa law, sexual assault and rape are charged as "sexual abuse."

Steve Kloberdanz, the defense attorney representing Bonner, denied in court on April 6 that his client is the same person convicted of sexual abuse in Cerro Gordo County in 1991.

The April 24 hearing at the Winnebago County Courthouse in Forest City was to determine if Bonner is the same person. 

Kloberdanz argued that Bonner's date of birth and Social Security number were redacted from one of the Cerro Gordo County District Court documents submitted as evidence to the court.

However, Rosenbladt noted another document from the Cerro Gordo County case has Bonner's date of birth and Social Security number listed, and they match the sex offender registry documents. 

He also pointed out Jim Thiele, a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, testified he recognized Bonner in the courtroom as the same person he arrested last year on sexual abuse charges.

Thiele also testified Bonner is the same man whose photo is listed on the sex offender registry. 

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