Man’s sex assault charges dropped; judge blames prosecutor
OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge cited the courthouse arrest of a drunken prosecutor in dismissing charges against a man accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.
Judge Marti Mertz issued the ruling Monday while chastising Clarke County Attorney Michelle Rivera. The judge says Rivera’s unavailability at a recent hearing “was the finale following unexplained periods of inactivity and lack of responsiveness” since the man’s arrest more than a year ago.
Rivera was arrested for being drunk in an Osceola courtroom on Oct. 18, moments before the man was scheduled to enter a new plea and be sentenced.
The man later sought a dismissal because he hadn’t been tried within a year of his arraignment. Investigators say the man admitting engaging in a sex act with a minor.
Rivera and her attorney didn’t immediately return messages Tuesday from The Associated Press.