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Friday, May 24, 2013

Statement of Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren on approval of HF 119

Today, May 24, 2013, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad approved House File 119 - a bill for an act relating to the duties of the County Attorney in juvenile court.

Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren released the following statement:

"HF119 restores the County Attorney to his or her traditional role of being the independent voice of the people in juvenile court cases dealing with children who had been neglected or abused. A 2007 decision of the Iowa Supreme Court had interpreted Iowa law in manner which required County Attorneys to treat the Iowa Department of Human Services as our client. This court decision placed a serious structural conflict in our duties as prosecutors and our duty to DHS.

"The Iowa County Attorneys Association worked with the Governor, the Attorney General, and legislators to craft a response to this court decision. We were motivated by the need to eliminate the structural conflict and to ensure that the people had their representative in court. This issue had been the number one priority of ICAA for the past three legislative sessions.

"During the past session of the legislature an agreement was reached between the interested parties to find a way to fix this problem. I was pleased that this agreement was approved by the legislature in a bipartisan and unanimous fashion. I would like to particularly thank the Muscatine County legislative delegation of Sen. Chris Brase, Sen. Tom Courtney, Sen. Robert Dvorsky, Rep. Mark Lofgren, Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, and Rep. Tom Sands for their votes in favor of this legislation. I would also like to thank House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Chip Baltimore and Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Rob Hogg for their leadership. Finally, I would like to thank Governor Branstad for his leadership and close concern on this issue.

"HF119 ensures that the County Attorney is the representative of the people and their interest in seeing justice be done in juvenile court. It allows us to be the independent voice of the people and to ensure that children are protected to the maximum degree possible. The Governor's action today in approving the bill was a tremendous event."

Fifty year prison sentence for child sexual abuse

Today, May 24, 2013, in Muscatine County District Court PEDRO CAMACHO OLEA, DOB: 1/28/1968, was sentenced by the Hon. Thomas Reidel for six counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree.

Judge Reidel sentenced the defendant to a total term of incarceration of not to exceed 50 years. By Iowa law the defendant will not be eligible for parole until he serves 35 years of that sentence.

"I am very pleased with the result of this case," said Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren. "The defendant was found guilty after a jury trial. The Court recognized the significant harm the defendant cause his victims and sentenced him accordingly," Ostergren continued. "Justice was done in this case," he added.

OLEA will be transported by the Muscatine County Sheriff to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center where he will begin serving his sentence. OLEA will also be required to register as a sex offender when he released from prison.

The case against OLEA was investigated by the Muscatine County Sheriff's Department.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Guilty plea in employer embezzlement case

Friday, May 17, 2013, in Muscatine County District Court, BRUCE BEAN, DOB: 5/31/1959, pled guilty to Theft in the First Degree. Investigation by the Muscatine Police Department showed that BEAN had misappropriated approximately $160,000 from his employer by causing payments for scrap metal to be diverted to him rather than his employer. BEAN's plea agreement calls for him to make a lump-sum restitution payment to the victim of $75,000 and sign a promissory note for the remaining amount. BEAN will be sentenced July 5, 2013, at 9:15 a.m.