Herr seeks to address victim’s criminal history; claims consensual relationship

Sigourney, Iowa- A Sigourney man facing second-degree sexual abuse charges is seeking to admit the criminal history of the victim in the case, as well as admit evidence claiming he and the victim were in a consensual relationship. Donnie Herr was charged on August 1, 2017. He is alleged to have threatened to use an “AK-47” on a Sigourney woman in order to force her to have sexual intercourse with him. The alleged incident occurred in 2016. The victim, who the News-Review will not identify, was renting an apartment from Herr at the time of the incident, according to a criminal complaint. Herr has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In May 2018, prosecutors filed a motion in limine, which sought to prohibit, among other things, any testimony regarding the victim’s drug use or criminal history. Herr’s defense attorneys objected to the state’s motion in limine in an August 24 court filing. In the response, defense attorney Robert Conrad stated that the victim in the case was unsure of the exact day that the incident occurred. Conrad stated that it is their intent to call a witness to the stand who will testify that the victim was using drugs around the time of the alleged incident.

Also on August 24, Herr’s attorneys filed documents contradicting an earlier statement Herr gave to police as they were beginning an investigation into a claim of sexual abuse in 2016. On March 29, 2016, one week after the victim noticed police of the alleged incident, Herr denied to investigators that he had had any sexual contact with the victim. In a notice of intent to use, Herr’s attorney’s state that Herr intends to testify at trial that he and the victim had had a “consensual sexual relationship in the months preceding the alleged assault.”

For more on this story and others, catch the October 3 edition of the News-Review.