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Lindaman returned from prison, free on bond

Douglas Lindaman makes a point during his 2016 trial on charges of 3rd degree sexual assault. Press file photo
Douglas Lindaman makes a point during his 2016 trial on charges of 3rd degree sexual assault. Press file photo
Douglas Lindaman
Douglas Lindaman
By Bob Steenson,

Douglas Lindaman was returned to Floyd County Tuesday and released on bond.

A district court judge set bail, set a date for a new trial and ordered Lindaman returned to Floyd County in an order filed Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson at the Floyd County Jail said Tuesday afternoon that Lindaman had “bonded out.”

Lindaman had been serving a sentence of up to 10 years in prison at Newton Correctional Facility after being found guilty of third degree sexual abuse by a Floyd County jury in April 2016.

That verdict was reversed and the case sent back for a new trial by the Iowa Supreme Court on May 19 this year when a panel of three justices ruled that Lindaman’s constitutional right to be represented by counsel was not adequately protected.

District Court Judge Gregg Rosenbladt, who was also the presiding judge at the original trial, on Tuesday ordered the same $10,000 bond conditions that were set after Lindaman was arrested in 2015.

“Bond is set in the scheduled amount of $10,000 for a class C felony,” Rosenbladt ordered. “This bond may be posted in cash, by surety, or by the Defendant posting 10 percent of the scheduled bond amount ($1,000) directly with the Clerk of District Court.

“As the Defendant has not failed to appear, release with supervision to the Department of Correctional Services will not be required at this time,” he ordered.

Floyd County Attorney Rachel Ginbey, who prosecuted the case in April 2016, had argued in a motion filed shortly after the conviction was overturned that Lindaman should be released on bond to the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services. That could have included requiring him to wear an ankle bracelet or GPS tracker, or to report in regularly to a DOC supervisor, but Rosenbladt did not set that condition.

The judge set a pretrial conference for 9 a.m. July 17 in the Floyd County Courthouse district courtroom, and set the trial to begin at 9 a.m. on Aug. 1.

After the verdict was reversed, both Lindaman and Ginbey had filed motions asking the court to set terms of bail, return Lindaman to Floyd County and to set a date for a new trial.

The Supreme Court clerk early Tuesday sent a procedendo to the Floyd County District Court. That is an order stating that the appeals process had been concluded and the district court should “proceed with diligence” on the case, resulting in Rosenbladt’s orders.

In a related matter, Lindaman filed a motion last Friday requesting that statements he had made to Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agents before the original trial be suppressed.

He argued that he had made the statements voluntarily with the understanding that they were being recorded and could be referred to later, but during the trial it was discovered that the complete audio and video recordings were not available.

“During the trial on Thursday, April 7, 2016 … the county attorney disclosed that the recording devices would malfunction & skip recording testimony. This disclosure was timed after the county attorney used Lindaman’s statements in her case before the jury,” Lindaman wrote.

“Accordingly, the recorded verbal statements are inherently unreliable & must be suppressed under Due Process of the 14th Amendment to U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 9 Iowa Constitution,” he wrote.

Lindaman wrote that the lost recordings would “delineate his demeanor & honesty over timely disclosing the legitimate non-sexual contact in this matter” if they were available.

Lindaman was charged in 2015 with having sexually touched a 17-year-old boy in 2011, after hiring the boy as a farmhand. Lindaman argued that he touched the boy “therapeutically” to help the boy get over a previous sexual injury.

Lindaman said the charges were politically motivated since he was running for the Charles City School District Board of Education at the time.

At the time, Ginbey, who had been elected county attorney the previous fall, said she came across Lindaman’s case file while going through files from before she took office, and decided the case deserved prosecuting.

In his motion filed Friday, Lindaman said that the interviews with the DCI would have shown why the previous county attorney, Normand Klemesrud, had decided not to file charges years earlier when the case was first investigated. Klemesrud died in 2014.

Since the recordings weren’t complete they shouldn’t be allowed at all, Lindaman wrote.

That motion has not been ruled on yet.

Lindaman was convicted at a jury trial April 12, 2016, in Charles City, on one count of sexual abuse in the third degree.

Lindaman is a former attorney and Floyd County magistrate who lost his law license and served two years in prison after convictions in 1988 on two counts of lascivious acts with a child.

After having his rights restored as part of a blanket policy by Gov. Tom Vilsack, Lindaman unsuccessfully ran for the Floyd County Board of Supervisors and later the Charles City Board of Education.

He represented himself at his trial in April 2016, but the Supreme Court panel agreed with Lindaman’s appeal and with a motion by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office that the judge at that trial had not met the requirements to make sure Lindaman’s decision to represent himself was “intelligent and knowing.”