Former UI student testifies she was sexually assaulted

BY SAM LANE | MARCH 02, 2010 7:30 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

A Williamsburg, Iowa, man entered the apartment of a former University of Iowa student without consent and sexually assaulted her, the reported victim testified on Monday.

“He looked evil,” she said about the perpetrator after wiping her eyes with a tissue.

The woman was the first to testify in the trial of Jonathan Schiefer, a man accused of third-degree sexual abuse and first-degree burglary.

At the time of his arrest in August 2008, some members of the public believed Schiefer was connected to a string of assaults that occurred near the UI campus from 2006 to 2008. The attacks stopped after the 34-year-old was arrested. However, no officials have confirmed this connection, and no victims of the other crimes have identified Schiefer as their assailant.

Periodically tightening his jaw, he sat silent and stone-faced in a Johnson County courtroom Monday, even when the woman pointed at Schiefer to identify him as her assailant.

She testified that 5 to 10 minutes after she got into bed early on the morning of April 6, 2008, she saw a shadow outside the window of her near-campus apartment.

“I just kind of froze,” she said. “It was so fast that I kind of sat up and turned around to see if someone was there.”

After she lay back down, she said, her bedroom door cracked open, and she saw an eye through the gap. She said the perpetrator proceeded to sexually assault her.

As she screamed for help, she struggled to free herself.

“It sounded really panicky,” later testified Holly Heisdorf, one of the woman’s neighbors in the building. “She wanted something or someone really fast.”

When the man left, the accuser fled to a neighbor’s apartment, where two men helped her and called the police.

Police collected evidence and talked to neighbors, various members of the Iowa City police testified.

That summer, officials decided to set up surveillance of the apartment, said Iowa City police Detective David Gonzalez. Officials had four teams, one of which included a female officer who acted as decoy inside the alleged victim’s apartment.

Late on July 19, the teams twice observed a man — whom police say was Schiefer — approach the window of the apartment and cited him for trespassing.

After speaking with a criminalist in August 2008, Gonzalez obtained an arrest warrant and went to Williamsburg to meet Schiefer.

The state criminalist, Michael Halverson, said authorities compared DNA taken from the original attack to cigarettes found outside the apartment, and eventually to Schiefer’s.

Gonzalez said as they spoke, Schiefer “began to recall more and more” and even admitted entering the apartment.

“Schiefer, in his mind, it would have been a consensual sex act,” Gonzalez said.

The trial, which did not include a jury at Schiefer’s request, opened with a statement from assistant Johnson County prosecutor Anne Lahey. Lahey and Schiefer’s attorney Davis Foster questioned witnesses throughout the rest of the day.

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. today.

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus
Daily Iowan Advertising
Today's Display Ads | Today's Classifieds | Advertising Info

Follow the DI through:


Sponsored Links  
T-Shirt Design  
Insurance Leads Charlotte Web Design
Health Insurance Leads Home Equity Loans
Life Insurance  
Custom Magnets DMI Furniture
Solar Products Custom USB
Snow Removal & Odd Jobs Buy a text ad


Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.