Jury set for alleged Pentacrest rapist trial

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 28, 2012 6:30 AM

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The jury has been selected in the trial for a former University of Iowa student accused of sexual assault.

Evan Pfeifer has been accused in connection with a reported rape of a woman on the west side of the Pentacrest during the early hours of Oct. 3, 2010.

Ann Lahey, an assistant Johnson County prosecutor, said the woman would testify during the trial. Lahey also said approximately four current UI students, a former resident assistant at Rienow Hall, and various UI police officials would also testify.

Lahey mainly asked two questions of each member of the juror pool of 26. She asked them if they would discount testimony from someone who might have been drinking or if drinking makes someone less of a victim.  Police previously said the woman was intoxicated at the time of the alleged incident.

She concluded by asking jurors hypothetically if they would convict one person based on testimony of just one person if they believed the testimony “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Mark Brown, Pfeifer’s attorney, did not ask each potential juror the same questions but asked individuals a number of questions, including if sex could still be consensual if alcohol was involved and if consenting adults could have sex in public.

An Iowa City resident reportedly saw the alleged sexual assault and reported it to UI police at approximately 3:45 a.m. The witness told police he saw a white man with his pants down to his knees, kneeling toward the woman. The woman reported the alleged assault on Nov. 1, 2010, and police formally charged Pfeifer on April 4.

Sixth District Judge Mitchell Turner said “hopefully” the trial will finish by Friday, but delays in jury selection came from separate interviews of potential jurors who indicated a history or connection with sexual assault.

Pfeifer faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of the class-C felony.

— by Brent Griffiths

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