The former mayor of Oelwein, on trial over accusations of sexual abuse against two minor girls, has been acquitted of one charge, while the jury deadlocked on another. Thirty-seven-year-old Jason Manus had been charged with second-degree sexual abuse of a girl between 6 and 9 years old and third-degree sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl.
The incidents allegedly took place in 2010, but did not come to light until August of last year. Manus resigned as Oelwein’s mayor, a post he held for just a few months, days after he was arrested. The trial was moved to Chickasaw County on a change of venue.
The jurors found Manus not guilty of the third-degree sex abuse charge, which was for having inappropriate contact with the 14-year-old girl, but they deadlocked on the second-degree sex abuse charge, which involved the younger of the two girls.
After assuring the judge they could not reach a conclusion, he declared a mistrial. Manus could still be retried on that charge, but would have to be prosecuted before this August.
(Reporting by Roger King, KOEL, Oelwein)