Former Iowa football player Cedric Iverson was convicted in an Iowa courtroom today on a single misdemeanor assault charge with a maximum 30 day sentence. Iverson escaped much more serious convictions of sexual abuse charges that could have landed him in prison for 25 years.
Iverson was originally charged in May, 2008, of a sexual assault in October of 2007 on a fellow female student at an Iowa dormitory. The Hope County Prosecutor’s case was problematic from the start as the alleged victim said she was intoxicated to the point of a blackout that night and thus couldn’t have given consent for sexual relations with Iverson.
Iverson’s defense attorney, Leon Spies, called no defense witnesses and relied on cross examination on the credibility of prosecution witnesses, which included the alleged victim and Abe Satterfield, Iverson’s roommate who was originally charged as well, but cut a plea bargain deal for his testimony against Iverson.
When defense attorney Leon Spies rested his case he asked the judge to throw out the most serious charge of second-degree sexual abuse, which carried a potential sentence of 25 years. Judge Paul Miller agreed and dropped the second-degree charge. Jurors were then presented three charges to deliberate; third-degree sexual abuse (10 years in prison), assault with the intent to committ sexual abuse (felony) or the lesser charge of a mere assault- a misdemeanor.
After two days of deliberations the jury found Iverson guilty of the misdemeanor assault charge. It carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in a county jail, not a state prison. Since it is an assault with no sexual connotations, Iverson will not have to register as a sex offender. Potential personal injury lawsuits from the alleged victim could be arduous because the statue of limitations has expired for those lawsuits according to Iowa legal code.
Iverson faces sentencing on February 25.