OTTUMWA — Investigators with the Ottumwa Police Department have charged a man and a woman for repeated sexual abuse of a child.

Jesse Franklin Harnden Jr., 49, of Ottumwa was charged with 60 counts of second-degree sexual abuse and 25 counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

Each count of second-degree sexual abuse is a class B felony and can bring a sentence of up to 25 years in prison with a conviction. Third-degree sexual abuse is a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Police say in court filings that a child was sexually abused for nearly seven years, since 2013.

Harnden was arrested and charged last week Wednesday, after being arrested on a warrant.

Also arrested was Heather Mantell, 47, of Ottumwa. Police charged her with one count of child endangerment and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

According to court filings, Mantell was a guardian of the victim. Investigators say Mantell knew of the abuse but didn’t stop it, and also participated, according to court records.

In court documents, police allege that the abuse began in 2013 and continued into this year.

Harnden pled not guilty to the charges on Thursday and is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond. Mantell also pled not guilty and is being held on a $22,000 cash-only bond. Both are due back in court on Dec. 3.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.


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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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