FOREST CITY | A judge is considering whether a Britt man he convicted of sexually assaulting two girls should be granted a new trial based on alleged false testimony by one of the girls.
Chad Allen Bonner, 48, was to be sentenced Tuesday in Winnebago County District Court in Forest City.
He was facing a mandatory life sentence for two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. In Iowa law, sexual assault and rape are charged as sexual abuse.
Bonner was accused of abusing two girls he knew from January 2005 to September 2008 in Winnebago County. Both girls, who were under the age 12 at the time, testified during a trial before Judge Gregg Rosenbladt.
They initially denied the sex abuse when interviewed by the Department of Human Services in 2008, but later told authorities about the alleged acts of sexual assault, which they say occurred in Forest City and Thompson.
Bonner was tried by Rosenbladt in February after he waived his right to a jury trial. Rosenbladt found him guilty of both charges April 6.
Bonner's court-appointed attorney, Steven Kloberdanz, stated in court Tuesday that one of the girls admitted to Bonner's daughter after the trial that not all of her testimony was true.
Kloberdanz also read a statement from Bonner's daughter claiming the girl later "threatened me not to say anything."
He said this adds to the "mountain of trouble with this witness's testimony."
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In a motion for a new trial filed on May 17, Kloberdanz stated no witnesses corroborated her testimony that Bonner sexually abused her in a bathroom with two other people present.
He also said the girl claimed Bonner physically assaulted her, but no one noticed any injuries.
Iowa Assistant Attorney General Cole McAllister, the prosecutor in the case, noted in court on Tuesday that Rosenbladt's ruling finding Bonner guilty stated both girls appeared to be genuine, credible and sincere in their testimony.
The ruling also stated that although there were some inconsistencies in the details, both girls were very consistent overall.
McAllister also said he would prefer the record in the case be re-opened so more evidence can be presented rather than having a new trial.
Rosenbladt said he would take the motion for a new trial under advisement and file a written order as to what should be done next.
In Iowa, second-degree sexual abuse is usually punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
However, state law indicates 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.
Bonner was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in May 1991.