Schiefer testifies in abuse case

BY SAM LANE | MARCH 04, 2010 7:30 AM

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Jonathan Schiefer never tried to have non-consensual sex with his accuser, he testified Wednesday.

Speaking quietly as he sat in a Johnson County courtroom on Wednesday, the 34-year-old was one of three witnesses to testify on the third day of his trial. Schiefer is accused of third-degree sexual abuse and first-degree burglary stemming from an incident involving a former University of Iowa student in April 2008.

On Monday, the alleged victim testified that Schiefer entered her apartment without consent and sexually abused her.

Wednesday, Schiefer began by talking about his personal life and drug use. He said in high school, he didn’t use alcohol or marijuana.

However, that changed during his first semester of college at Iowa State University, when he started drinking — at first just on the weekends, then, he said, it became “recreational.”

After Schiefer’s wife recommended that her husband see a doctor about his problem focusing, he was eventually put on the Dexedrine. Schiefer said he was able to focus better, but his hands shook and he felt agitated.

“It was hurting more than helping,” he said.

Schiefer switched to Ritalin, but that drug made him tired, and he switched back to Dexedrine. He then fell further into drug abuse.

Schiefer’s struggle with drugs continued through the time of the incident in spring 2008, he testified.

Paul Perry, a pharmacy professor at Touro University in California who also testified Wednesday, said he was asked to determine if Dexedrine, combined with alcohol and marijuana, would reduce Schiefer’s libido and impair his judgment.

Perry said in general, the combination could reduce one’s libido and impair judgment. But, he said, he had not examined Schiefer, so he did not know what effect it might have had on him.

Schiefer also testified that, other than the incident itself, the rest of that night was fairly typical and thus he didn’t recall much.

He said his memories of the night began when he was outside the alleged victim’s apartment and saw her through the window. He said he also remembered walking through the unlocked sliding door and into the woman’s bedroom. After the incident, Schiefer walked back out through the sliding door, he testified.

Schiefer said in July 2008 he found himself back outside the accuser’s apartment when he needed to urinate. He said he peered through the window again and was struck with “déjà vu.” He left, but quickly returned to connect the apartment with his memories, he said.

When he began to leave the second time, he was arrested, beginning a line of events that has led to his trial this week.

“I can see now that I had no logical thought process at that time,” Schiefer said about the original incident.

Because Schiefer and his attorney decided to waive a jury for the court proceedings, 6th District Judge Ian Thornhill will rule on the case, perhaps within the next day.

The trial will resume today at 9 a.m. with the attorneys’ closing statements.

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