The Iowa Supreme Court says the sexual abuse conviction of a Cedar Rapids deserves another look from the lower court. Forty-two-year-old Michael John Alberts was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse for having sex with the 22-year-old girlfriend of his nephew in 2003 after the two met at a Cedar Rapids bar and went home together.
Alberts says the sex was consensual, and the woman only protested to save her relationship with the nephew. Court records show there was no physical evidence of an assault. Alberts lawyers say the woman’s actions with Alberts were similar to another situation in which the woman went skinny-dipping with another man, and then claimed she couldn’t get away from the man when the two were discovered.
The lower court judge did not allow the skinny-dipping testimony based on Iowa’s rape shield law that prevents a victim’s prior sexual history from being used against them. But, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the lower court abused it’s discretion by excluding the skinny-dipping testimony from the trial without giving Alberts’ defense a hearing to determine if the skinny-dipping incident indeed showed a prior false claim of sexual misconduct by the woman.
The Supreme Court has ordered the lower court to hold the hearing to determine if the woman did indeed lie about the skinny-dipping incident, and if so, the HIgh Court says Alberts should get a new trial.