The Creston police chief and assistant chief were each sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday. Former Creston police chief James Christensen and assistant chief John Sickels were found guilty in March of second-degree sexual assault in the rape of a female bartender at the Crestmoor Golf Club in Creston.
A statement from the victim was read in court prior to their sentencing, and said she is still undergoing counseling and taking medication as a result of the assault. The victim said in the statement that before the assault the only medication she took was an occasional aspiring. She says she has not been able to work on the advice of her therapist, and is trying to go to school. The victim’s statement says the assault impacted all parts of her life.
The statement says the crime impacted her family too, as her partner has had the same sleeping problems she has had since the assault and she says the intimacy between them has suffered as well. The statement also said the victim’s son has suffered as he has had to endure comments from others about the case while he is at school. The two former policemen also gave statements before the sentencing. John Sickels was the assistant chief at the time of the assault, and continued to maintain his innocence.
"The interpretation of the rape shield laws in Iowa unfairly kept key information out of this trial. That information alone would have given the jury reasonable doubt that no crime was committed that night," Sickels says, "On the night of April 18th I had consensual sex with a drunk woman who later regretted it. I am not guilty of raping, I am only guilty of being drunk that night, of bad judgment, and worst of all, cheating on my wife."
Former police chief James Christensen was accused of trying to quiet the woman and not stopping Sickels during the assault. He also made a statement. "Nothing can be changed and there is not lateral movement, but I apologize as God is my witness, for taking everybody into this," Christensen said. The two men have 30 days to appeal their sentence. They will stay in jail during the appeal.