The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 19, 2014

Not guilty plea in child porn case

OTTUMWA — The man accused of trying to lure a minor into sexual acts has pleaded not guilty.

Rass Kerby Jr. was arrested in January on charges of sexual abuse. Those charges were later amended to enticing a minor to engage in a sex act and possession of child pornography.

Kerby filed a written arraignment in the case and pleaded not guilty. Arraignments are the proceeding in which a defendant is formally told the charges, and written arraignments are common filings that avoid actually bringing the defendant into court to enter a plea.

Several other cases are have seen calendar changes in the past week. Amevi Nsougan’s attempted murder trial will not begin April 4 as the court had scheduled. The defense has asked for a mental evaluation of Nsougan, and proceedings are on hold pending those results.

Ashley Weir’s trial on charges of willful injury and domestic abuse assault is on hold. The court has ordered the defense to obtain a new date for the pretrial conference and trial by April 14. Weir’s trial had been scheduled to begin April 1.

Kevin Galbraith’s trial on multiple drug charges will not take place at all. Galbraith had been scheduled to go on trial April 1, but online court records show he has reached a plea bargain. Plea proceedings are now scheduled for Friday.

Proceedings for two defendants in a November drug bust are also on hold. Jesse Leon and Brooke Ellis face charges from what authorities called sales of synthetic marijuana. A hearing on suppression of some evidence will take place April 16, and further proceedings will not happen until those issues are resolved.

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