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Ex-Creston officers each get 25 years in rape case

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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:08 PM
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Ex-Creston officers each get 25 years in rape case
Ex-Creston officers each get 25 years in rape case
By TOM ALEX May 21, 2009

Two former Creston police officers convicted for their roles in the rape of a country club bartender were each sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.

A jury of nine women and three men in Sioux City found James Christensen, the city's former police chief, and John Sickels, the former assistant chief, guilty in March of second-degree sexual abuse. Prosecutors contended that Sickels, 39, raped the woman at the Crestmoor Country Club on April 18, 2008, after the club had closed. Prosecutors alleged that Christensen, 41, stroked the woman's hair and tried to quiet her during the incident.

The men were told Wednesday they must serve a minimum of 14 years each before they are eligible for release, and their names will be on the state sex offender registry for the rest of their lives.

Both defendants read statements before the sentences were handed down, but neither apologized to the victim.

Sickels criticized the trial as unfair and said "the system failed me." Christensen told the packed courtroom, which included 30 or more members of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, that he was sorry his relatives and friends "had to endure this."

The men have 30 days to appeal. Both will stay in jail without bond during the appeal process.

"Justice was not served here today," Sickels' mother, Janet Jackson, said after the hearing. "I'm proud of him and what he's done for the community. This was a setup from day one. You have two police officers with impeccable records, and one night of drinking that led to consensual sex.

"She lied and she lied on the stand."

The Des Moines Register does not name rape victims without their permission.

"We are pleased to see a measure of justice brought for a survivor who experienced sexual violence at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect her," the coalition's Catherine Fribley said. "It's difficult to report people who are in prominent and important positions."

A statement read on behalf of the 45-year-old victim by Candis Lockard, victim-witness coordinator with the Iowa attorney general's office, said she feels that she "sticks out like an elephant" in Creston and lives in fear of confrontation and retaliation. The woman said she is unemployed, in therapy, and takes medication to deal with the trauma.

The statement said she feels as if the ordeal has resulted in a "life sentence" of pain.

The officers' arrests in June sent shock waves through Creston, a southwest Iowa town of about 8,000. Christensen and Sickels were fired after they were charged. The trial was moved from Union County to Woodbury County to ensure fairness.

<snip>

"Given the physical evidence at the crime scene and the admissions of the defendants, the state's case was strong," according to Gamble's ruling. "The complainant's testimony was credible. Her statements to the DCI, her deposition testimony and her trial testimony were consistent on her central allegation of sexual abuse. The testimony of the defendants was neither consistent nor credible."

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090521/NEWS/...
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:12 PM
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1. This quote:
"It's difficult to report people who are in prominent and important positions."

Sad that this has become such a defining characteristic of America. At least there was actual accountability involved here.
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Prisoner_Number_Six Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:14 PM
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2. Sickel's mom: "She lied and she lied on the stand."
Was Ms. Sickel present during the event? Does she make a habit of following her son around? Did she participate and thus have first hand knowledge? Did she offer testimony under oath?
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:18 PM
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5. "The testimony of the defendants was neither consistent nor credible"
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11 Bravo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:16 PM
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3. Dick Cheney says it wasn't rape, it was an "Enhanced Seduction Technique".
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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:16 PM
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4. "She lied and she lied on the stand."
Filthy fucking cop scum.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 01:59 PM
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6. "neither apologized to the victim."
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 02:05 PM
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7. Echo In Light
Please be aware that DU posting rules require that copyrighted material be limited to four paragraphs with a link to the original source.

Thanks,

cbayer
DU Moderator
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. No problem
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