IN THE INTEREST OF J.I.B., Minor Child, J.I.B., Minor Child, Appellant.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John G. Mullen, Juvenile Judge.
A minor child appeals the juvenile court's determination that he committed delinquent acts consisting of two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
Brenda Drew-Peeples, Davenport, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Bruce Kempkes, Assistant Attorney General, Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and Dion Trowers, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Tabor, J., and Miller, S.J. [*]
I. Background Facts & Proceedings
On August 20, 2011, T.R., who was then eleven years old, and her cousin, E.M., who was then nine years old, were introduced by a neighborhood boy, X., to another boy, J.I.B., who gave only the nickname of "Poppy." J.I.B. was at that time fourteen years old. T.R., E.M., X., and J.I.B. played catch with a football for a period of time. Due to events which occurred on that afternoon, a petition was filed alleging J.I.B. committed delinquent acts, which consisted of two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
A hearing commenced on November 7, 2011. T.R. testified that while they were playing catch, J.I.B. "was grabbing me in places that I don't like to be grabbed." She further specified he had grabbed her "butt" and "boobs." T.R. asked him to stop, but he would not. She stated that after he stopped touching her he went to E.M. She testified that she was unable to see what occurred between J.I.B. and E.M. T.R. stated that when E.M. came back they ran away, but J.I.B. caught them and said something about having babies or puppies. T.R. stated she and E.M. ran to her grandmother's house, where they informed her what had happened and she called the police.
When E.M. was first called to testify the direct examination soon turned to questions about the incident. She was asked, "Did he touch you anywhere?", and she replied, "No, not really." She was next asked whether J.I.B. had said anything to her, and she gave no response. The assistant county attorney requested and was granted a short recess. The court permitted E.M. to leave the courtroom with the assistant county attorney, E.M.'s mother, and a social worker. E.M. returned shortly and the hearing resumed. E.M. testified J.I.B. kept on trying to lift up her shirt. She tried to push him back, but he was too strong. She stated she and T.R. tried to run away, but they tripped, and J.I.B. continued to try to lift up their shirts.
The hearing resumed on January 23, 2012. E.M. testified that J.I.B. took a pair of sunglasses off of her head, and when she tried to get them back he pushed her down. She stated when she got up he touched her. E.M. drew a diagram showing that J.I.B. had grabbed her in the area of the breasts and genitals, and poked her in the buttocks. E.M. further testified that J.I.B. had pushed T.R. down. E.M. drew a diagram showing J.I.B. had grabbed T.R. in the breast area and poked her in the genital area. She testified J.I.B. stated, "Oh, man, I was about to have puppies." E.M. stated that as she and T.R. were running away, J.I.B. caught T.R. and was holding her.
T.R.'s grandmother, K.G., testified E.M. ran up and told her, "That boy over there took my sunglasses and tried to touch at me." When K.G. looked, she saw J.I.B. holding T.R. up against a car. When K.G. called T.R.'s name, J.I.B. let her go and he ran away. K.G. testified T.R. and E.M. were both very upset and were crying. K.G. called the police. Two Davenport police officers, Devin McNeill and Christopher Hubbell, testified about the statements given to them. J.I.B. then testified, denying he had touched T.R. or E.M. in an inappropriate manner.
The juvenile court entered an adjudicatory order finding the testimony of T.R. and E.M. corroborated each other, and they were credible witnesses. The court also found the girls' statements to K.G. after the incidents were credible and corroborative. The court noted both girls were quite upset at the time. The court also noted J.I.B. corroborated that he had played catch with the girls on that afternoon. The court concluded J.I.B. committed assaults against T.R. and E.M., and his statements and the nature of the assaults showed he intended to commit sexual abuse. The court determined he had committed delinquent acts, which consisted of two counts of ...