The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

August 29, 2013

Abuse trial begins in Mahaska County

OSKALOOSA — Bruce Spahr faced one of his two accusers Wednesday morning as the first day of testimony in State vs Spahr got underway.

Spahr is charged with four counts of second-degree sexual abuse, a Class B felony and is punishable by up to 25 years in prision on each count.

Assistant Attorney General Barry McCormally told jurors during his opening statement the case comes down to a secret.

“Family secrets. The evidence you’re going to hear in this case; it’s about a family that had a secret,” McCormally said.

Defense Attorney Ken Duker said Spahr's accusers had “changed their stories” on different occasions.

The prosecution presented their first witness after opening statements. The first witness was Accuser Number 1 in this case. (Identities of the accusers are not being revealed to protect their identities pursuant to Iowa court rules.)

According to Accuser Number 1, the alleged abuse occurred during the evening hours while she was in bed.

“I felt helpless, scared, sad. I didn’t know what to do at that point,” Accuser 1 said.

She left her room at went into the kitchen of her house and cried. According to the accuser, her mother came out to see why she was crying. It was at that point, she said, that she told her mother Spahr had abused her. After being pressed she changed her story and told her mother she had just had a nightmare.

“I felt trapped and responsible for my lie,” said the accuser. When asked by prosecuting attorney Barry McCormally what the truth was, Accuser 1 said that “[the] truth was that he did touch me.”

Duker's cross examination focused primarily on the accuser’s courtroom testimony compared to a deposition given in August of 2012. During the cross examination, Duker pointed the accuser to sections of her deposition in which she gave a timeline to when the alleged abuse occurred. Duker then questioned the accuser on her courtroom testimony saying that her courtroom testimony did not match up with her deposition testimony.

1
Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes the House

    Rep. Greg Heartsill reports that the bill to provide up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway has passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives, 78-15. 

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Live entertainment slated for Tulip Time This year's line-up for Festhouden, which will begin at 7 p.m. each evening of Tulip Time, has been announced. Festhouden will take place on the Tulip Toren located on the south side of Pella's square. Grandstand tickets for Festhouden and the evenin

    April 16, 2014

  • Spawning fish for better fishing The annual spring fish netting is underway at Rathbun Lake, Spirit Lake and Guttenberg and will begin Tuesday night at Storm Lake, as the spawning season picks up steam. Staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources collects walleye, northern p

    April 16, 2014

  • Chronic wasting disease found in wild deer OTTUMWA — Since 2002, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has collected more than 50,000 samples of captive and wild deer in Iowa in an effort to look for cases of chronic wasting disease. On April 9, they confirmed an infected wild deer had bee

    April 15, 2014

  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry making a difference BLAKESBURG — Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg began its third full year of operation this month. Start-up funds included the South Central United Methodist Conference grant of $1,200 and a large cash donation from Hope Well Church in response

    April 15, 2014

  • Council approves sale to Historical Preservation Society BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council on Monday approved sale of the museum property to Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. The $4,000 bid submitted by BHPS was the only bid received. Terms of the bid include a clause that if at sometime the p

    April 15, 2014

  • Construction Trades pic 1 Marion County building permits on the rise

    It's expected to be a busy construction season around Marion County. According to County Zoning Administrator Missy Poffenbarger, her office has issued 17 building permits since March 18. 

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Zones photo 2 Blue Zones kicks off in Osky

    OSKALOOSA -- Blue Zones Project held its Oskaloosa Kickoff Monday evening at the Oskaloosa High School gym to help improve the community's health. Blue Zones originated with Dan Buettner of National Geographic. He was asked to find areas of the world

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Medical marijuana bill may surface in Senate DES MOINES (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he will sponsor a bill legalizing the sale of medical marijuana in Iowa, reviving an issue once thought dead this year. The persistent efforts of woman who have children with epilepsy chang

    April 15, 2014

  • Branstad: Action needed to protect Iowa students DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law. The Iowa Supr

    April 15, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National