The state representative accused of making obscene phone calls to women he didn’t know will take the stand today in his own defense. The trial against Michael Cataldo of Des Moines began yesterday in Indianola with the testimony of four women who told of being awakened by obscene phone calls. Paula Spinler of Martensdale was the first witness. She said she felt dirty after the calls, like she’d been raped. Spinler’s 18-year-old daughter, and two women from Des Moines testified they received calls from a cell phone number investigators found registered in Cataldo’s name. Warren County Deputy Sheriff Paul Morrison said Cataldo confessed when first confronted and then repeatedly asked to be let off. Morrison said Cataldo asked to be able to apologize to the victim.Morrison says he asked Cataldo if his wife knew of the calls. Cataldo replied if she found out she would “kill me.”Cataldo’s wife, Karen, testified her husband could not have made the calls because they were at home together in bed when the calls were made.A cell phone expert hired by Cataldo to testify said Cataldo’s cell phone could have been cloned, as there were some discrepancies on Cataldo’s phone bills. Cataldo’s attorney says Cataldo will deny he made the phone calls when he takes the stand in his own defense today. Cataldo narrowly won a democratic primary in June and there is no republican running against him in the fall election.
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