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State v. Bolden

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 20, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CIERA SHANAE BOLDEN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Mark F. Schlenker, District Associate Judge.

         Ciera Bolden appeals her conviction for one count of second-degree harassment. REVERSED AND REMANDED.

          Seth Harrington of Harrington Law LC, Urbandale, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         "I'm going to straight fuck her up! So tell them that!" Is this email communication to a third party sufficient to sustain a conviction for second-degree harassment? That is the question presented in this appeal. For the reasons that follow, we determine it is not.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         The facts, briefly stated, are as follows: Ciera Bolden answered an advertisement from three other Simpson College students seeking a fourth roommate for their on-campus apartment. After meeting with the women and moving into the apartment, a conflict developed between Bolden and Stephanie Woodruff, one of the roommates. Woodruff contacted Tayler Keitzer, Simpson's area coordinator in residence life who oversaw all the students living in on-campus apartment complexes, about the conflict.

         Keitzer asked Bolden to provide a written statement to the college's conduct board concerning the conflict with Woodruff. Keitzer later emailed Bolden to remind her of the request, stating:

As I mentioned during the various times that we communicated over the weekend, I would like to have a written statement regarding your perspective of the situations that occurred Thursday night and Saturday afternoon by 8:00am Monday, September 19th. Any documentation you can provide will be helpful in this situation.

         When Bolden did not submit a written statement as requested, Keitzer emailed Bolden again, inviting her to discuss the situation in person with the board:

I would like to give you an opportunity to meet with myself, Chris Frerichs, and Walter Lain on Wednesday, September 21st at 2:15pm to discuss your situation and allow you a chance to talk to us in person, if you'd like. This meeting is to allow you the space to share your side of the situation with us, providing your perspective of each incident. After not receiving your written statement documenting these situations, I want to reiterate how important and helpful it is to receive your side of the ...

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