A Webster City man accused of sexual assault while attending school in Polk County plans to plead not guilty, his lawyer says.
Kolton Gemmel, 19, was arrested this month. Gemmel is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in October 2017 at an Ankeny residence, court records show.
Gemmel is accused of “pinning (his victim’s) arms above her head and forcing” her to have sex with him “even after she repeatedly told him to stop,” according to a criminal complaint filed by the Ankeny Police Department.
He has been released from jail. His lawyer, Gary Dickey Jr., told the Register that Gemmel will take the third-degree sexual abuse charge to trial.
The Des Moines Register generally does not identify victims in sexual abuse cases. Natalie Varland, the woman Gemmel is charged with assaulting, told the Register in an interview that she wanted to go on the record about her experience.
“I deserved more than I was giving myself,” she said.
Varland filed for a temporary sexual-abuse protective order in January and charges were approved a few months later. A warrant was issued for Gemmel’s arrest on April 1, and he was taken into custody two weeks later.
Varland, a student at Iowa State University, said Gemmel was a student at Des Moines Area Community College in October 2017. The two had previously been in a relationship, but were no longer dating when the incident occurred.
She said news of his arrest was “nerve-wracking.”
“I think I was more scared than anything just because of everything I have ahead of me now, with court and all of that.”
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Varland said she decided to come forward after going to therapy after the alleged assault during her freshman year at ISU. Now a junior, Vorland said she struggled with classes that semester and will have to graduate later than anticipated.
“My life was falling apart because of the rape,” she said. “I started having night terrors really bad … I’m struggling to stay in school; my anxiety’s been all over the place.”
Gemmel posted bond on April 18, one day after being taken into custody. His lawyer said he plans to plead not guilty at an arraignment May 31.
“(My client) categorically denies the allegation that he engaged in any criminal act,” Dickey said Friday.
No trial date has been set.
Follow the Register on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at 515-284-8378, email@example.com or on Twitter @TDavisDMR.
Politicians are always looking for ways to unite our perpetually divided country, failing time and again. Perhaps, instead of offering empty policy promises or calls for civility, they should be looking to the television. A new report from the Norman Lear Center and the futurePerfect Lab tracks the TV preferences of viewers from all over the ideological spectrum in an attempt to determine who is watching what and what shows may have bipartisan appeal. The results of the study are surprising, enlightening, and generally bad news for the cast of Pawn Stars, who it appears everyone fucking hates.
Participants were divided into three ideological groups: Blues (left-leaning), Reds (right-leaning), and Purples (the more centrist swing voters). Researches then presented these participants with a list of 50 shows and asked which ones they were watching and how much they enjoyed watching them. What they found was that shows like Saturday Night Live, Modern Family, and South Park are primarily enjoyed by Blues whereas Reds tend to prefer America’s Funniest Home Videos and Deadliest Catch.
The most surprising results have to do with shows that had an equal viewership across all three ideological groups, which included things like Bones, MythBusters, and Criminal Minds. Pawn Stars also ranked highly in terms of viewership, but researchers determined that everyone was just hate-watching it. It should be noted that none of the participants outright love these bipartisan shows, they just seem to be bland or inoffensive enough to be watched by most people. On the other hand, the cultural juggernaut that is Game Of Thrones got high ratings from everyone who admitted to watching it, but only 16% of Red viewers copped to their love of horny dragons.
The full study is available to read here, though we’d recommend not digging too deep on the “Network & News Preferences” section unless you want your head to explode. Also, we desperately need a follow-up report analyzing the Purple viewers who “ranked The Tom and Jerry Show among shows they watched often enough to have an opinion about.”
After more than four decades, the mysteries remain, shrouded in the fog that rolls in over Lake Martin, and the woods that surround Alexander City, Alabama. The original mystery is a series of suspicious and unexplained deaths; but writer Casey Cep says that the other mystery is equally riveting: What happened when Alabama’s most famous author, Pulitzer Prize-winning Harper Lee, of “To Kill a Mockingbird”fame, came here to work on a true crime book about those deaths.
“She does a tremendous amount of reporting and research,” said Cep. “And the mystery is, did she write a book or not? And if she did, where is it?”
The tale that brought Lee to Alexander City centers on Reverend Willie Maxwell, an ordained Baptist minister who also worked in the local logging industry. “He was incredibly capable of quoting scripture and struck people as overly polite,” said Cep.
One night in 1970, along a country road, his first wife, Mary, was found dead in her 1968 Ford Fairlane. Cep said, “She was found both to have been bludgeoned and strangled. It was staged as a car accident, but there was never any thought that she had died from the car accident.”
The Reverend was charged in her death. But as Cep details in her new book, “Furious Hours” (Knopf), his 1971 trial in the local courthouse ended in acquittal, after the state’s star witness changed her testimony. The Reverend would later marry that witness.
But before long she, too, ended up dead on the side of a road, as did his brother, and a nephew.
Despite intense investigation, authorities could never conclusively link these deaths to the Reverend.
But, locals, like Robert Burns, had their own ideas: “Bad reputation. He believed in killing. People said he was a psychopath. And he was.”
And people thought he was also a practitioner of voodoo.
Voodoo or not, it turns out that Reverend Maxwell had insurance policies on every single relative who died, totaling at least half a million in today’s dollars. And when the insurance companies grew suspicious, he called the same lawyer who got him off on charges of killing his first wife, Tom Radney.
“A lot of people around here knew that if you were looking for someone to defend you and defend you well, you went to see Tom Radney,” said his daughter, Ellen Price. She and Radney’s granddaughter, Madolyn Kirby, say that the attorney was just doing his job.
“There was no proof up until then that it was a murder or that there was anything wrong,” said Price.
But then in June of 1977, another death: Shirley Ann Ellington, the adopted teenage daughter of Maxwell’s third wife, was found, again, along the side of a road.
Cep said, “It was made to look as if she was changing a tire and that the car had fallen on her. But in fact, she had been strangled before she was put under the car.”
The whole community mourned, including Robert Burns, who says Shirley Ann was like a niece to him. “I loved her, and she loved me,” he said.
As 300 people gathered for her funeral, the Reverend was immediately suspected of the murder, by the police … and by Burns. He told Braver, “If he came to that funeral, I had intentions of doing what I did.”
Burns shot and killed the Reverend.
And when Burns needed a lawyer, who should step up to defend him but Tom Radney, the Reverend’s longtime attorney. The story became a national sensation, and it attracted a distinguished visitor who quietly slipped into town: Harper Lee, who had not published a book for 17 years.
“It’s an auspicious moment in her life,” said Cep. “And she’s had a lot of years of failure that she’s trying to turn around.”
But Lee had assisted her childhood friend Truman Capote in researching his true crime novel, “In Cold Blood.”
Lee decided she was going to try her hand at crime writing, showing up at the two-day trial, where attorney Tom Radney actually got Robert Burns off on a temporary insanity defense.
Lee started interviewing scores of locals. Radney became one of her top sources … and so does Burns.
He told Braver, “She told me she rented a place in Alex City to stay until she gathered all the information that she needed to write this book.”
Lee spends years working on the book. But she never published anything, much to her despair, as Casey Cep learned when she uncovered this letter written to Gregory Peck, who became Lee’s dear friend when he played Atticus Finch in the film version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
She thanks him for his loving offer of counsel, then tells him that her agent wants “pure gore & autopsies.” Her publisher wants another bestseller. “And I want a clear conscience, in that I haven’t defrauded the reader.”
But Cep found Lee was also haunted by her own demons: “And that is everything from depression to abuse of alcohol, and those kinds of frustrations seem to manifest themselves more and more.”
Harper Lee died in 2016. By then, attorney Tom Radney had passed away, too. And as family started going through his files, there is a startling discovery: what appears to be the first chapter of Lee’s book, complete with her handwriting.
“It’s numbered at the top, four pages stapled together, titled ‘The Reverend,'” Kirby said. It starts with a lawyer Lee called Jonathan Larkin getting a phone call in the middle of the night:
“Is this lawyer Larkin?” inquired the caller, to which Jonathan replied that it was. “This is Reverend Maxwell, and the police are here at my house, accusing me of killing my wife. Will you come down and help me?”
But whether the rest of the book exists is still unknown, as Harper Lee’s papers remain under seal. “Mysteries on mysteries,” said Casey Cep. “God bless Harper Lee. They didn’t end when she died.”
And like the story of The Reverend himself, who, ironically, is buried next to two of his suspected victims, those mysteries still haunt the shores of Lake Martin, Alabama.
A few of the show’s stars revealed what viewers can expect from the finale.
In what is definitely the most devastating news for all loyal Criminal Minds fans (myself included), the series will be showing its final season in fall 2019. Although saying goodbye to the finest members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit will be undoubtedly difficult, the criminal procedural is ensuring an action-packed, star-studded, can’t-miss season 15. Here’s what we know so far:
When is the season 15 premiere?
CBS has yet to announce an official premiere date, but the final run will air during the 2019-2020 TV season. According to Deadline, season 15 will feature a two-part opener and will be comprised of just 10 episodes. Season 14 of the series began in early October, so it’s likely the upcoming season will debut around the same time this fall.
Which cast members are returning for the final season?
To slightly soften the blow, it looks like the current cast will all be featured. Viewers will be pleased to see David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau (A.J. Cook), Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsnes), and the rest of the crew return, as well as some other familiar faces.
In an interview with Parade, Matthew Gray Gubler revealed Jane Lynch, who plays Reid’s schizophrenic mother, Diana, will make an appearance. Not wanting to disclose any spoilers, the actor simply told the outlet, “I see a happy ending in store for Reid, which is something that we’re all looking forward to, including with his mom.”
We’d love to see Derek Morgan return for Season 15!
As far as old fan favorites, such as Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), and Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) there’s a possibility they could see the small screen again—but it’s still uncertain.
Executive producer Erica Messer opened up to Deadline about the potential to include former personas in the final season. “I am very hopeful that we can honor all of those characters who have been beloved and with this team, with the audience for years,” she said, though no specifics have been revealed.
What will the series finale be like?
Mum’s the word when it comes to revelations from the cast and crew—but there have been a few hints as to what the final episodes will entail. Messer also told Dateline the finale would be a “tearjerker.”
“I think in honoring the series and saying goodbye, it’s probably going to feel like a little bit of a eulogy,” she said. The showrunner also noted that specifically David Rossi is in for some trouble. “[He] will be up against another formidable villain and will be concluding the 10 episodes with a showdown with that person,” she said.
Uh-oh—it looks like David Rossi will face plenty of adversity in the final season.
As for the final farewell, it will be just as hard for the actors as it will for the viewers. A.J. Cook spoke to Parade about what it will be like to bid adieu to J.J after 15 years.
“I’ll be sad to say goodbye to this character because truly she’s like a sister for me and I just feel so protective of her, so it’ll be really hard to say goodbye,” she said.
Gear up for the ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 15 Premiere
Jennifer Aldrich Editorial Assistant Jennifer Aldrich in an editorial assistant for CountryLiving.com who writes about food, decor, entertainment, and more.
President Trump’s prison-bound former lawyer candidly told actor Tom Arnold last month that he pleaded guilty to some crimes he didn’t commit so his wife wouldn’t “get dragged into the mud of this crap.”
Michael Cohen told Arnold “they had me on campaign finance” for arranging hush-money payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, but denied committing tax evasion and called a crime related to a home equity line of credit “a lie.”
He also complained in the March 25 call that he felt abandoned and tossed aside — like “a man all alone” — after giving more than 100 hours of interviews and testimony to federal investigators and congressional committees.
Arnold said he recorded the 36-minute call without Cohen’s knowledge because Cohen was known to record conversations and that he wanted to remember what they discussed. Arnold provided a copy to The Wall Street Journal, which reported on it and posted audio excerpts on its website on Wednesday.
It’s unclear where Arnold was when he made the recording. If he was in California, he could face legal scrutiny because the state requires consent from both parties on the call. If he was in New York, he’s in the clear. That state only requires one party’s consent.
Cohen met Arnold in June 2018 in what he described as a “chance, public encounter” in the lobby of a Manhattan hotel where Cohen was staying while his apartment was being repaired. Cohen said that Arnold asked to take a selfie .
The meeting happened about two months after the FBI raided Cohen’s hotel room and home and about two weeks before he publicly declared he was splitting from Trump, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy.”
Arnold, who hosted a Viceland series last year in which he investigated rumored recordings of Trump, told the Journal he made the recent call to Cohen to follow up on their meeting and to offer him moral support.
Arnold’s representatives did not immediately respond to an interview request.
Cohen is scheduled to begin a three-year sentence on May 6 at a federal prison about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of New York City. His lawyers recently asked House Democrats to intercede to get a reduced or delayed sentence, but they’ve been reticent to do so.
According to the Journal, Cohen told Arnold he pleaded guilty to the charges he now disputes because federal prosecutors were looking at his wife, Laura Shusterman, because her name was on a bank account where he deposited $2.4 million in loan proceeds.
“I love this woman, and I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap,” Cohen said, according to the Journal. “And I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”
Cohen’s concerns about the tax evasion and bank fraud charges appeared to echo some of what his former lawyer, Guy Petrillo, wrote in a sentencing memorandum submitted to the court in December.
Petrillo argued that Cohen’s tax evasion was “unsophisticated” and warranted less punishment than elaborate schemes. He argued that the bank fraud charge was the result of sloppiness in completing paperwork.
Cohen’s lawyer and spokesperson, Lanny Davis, acknowledged that Cohen spoke with Arnold and said that he “meant no offense by his statements.”
“Michael has taken responsibility for his crimes and will soon report to prison to serve his sentence,” Davis said in an emailed statement. “While he cannot change the past, he is making every effort to reclaim his life and do right by his family and country.”
Messages seeking comment were left with the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
That quote from President Lincoln would seem to be the inspiration for the title of Criminal Minds‘ series finale — “And in the End…” — as revealed Friday night by cast member Kirsten Vangsness, who co-wrote the script with showrunner Erica Messer (see below). Glenn Kershaw will direct.
The CBS crime drama was renewed back in January for a 15th and final, 10-episode season, which started production this spring near-immediately after Season 14 wrapped. (Whether the show will return this fall or not until midseason will be announced on May 15 at the CBS Upfronts.)
Messer told TVLine the series’ farewell run will pick up following a time jump and feature “a little more serialized storytelling” as well as “a couple of personal stories that might be surprising to people.”
On the casting front, Castle vet Michael Mosley will continue his run as Everett Lynch aka The Chameleon, a serial killer who late in Season 14 quickly proved to be the “Joker” to Rossi’s Batman.
Messer seemed confident that Criminal Minds alum-turned-S.W.A.T. star Shemar Moore will put in a final encore, but as for Thomas Gibson, who played Hotch until his sudden firing at the start of Season 12…. She was noncommittal in January, only expressing her wish to “honor the history of the series in some way that is satisfying for all of us.”
UBiome sent Business Insider this statement: “We are cooperating fully with federal authorities on this matter. We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of healthcare providers and patients.”
The FBI confirmed that its agents were “conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity” at the address of uBiome’s headquarters, but declined to provide further information.
UBiome sells doctor-ordered tests including SmartJane, its test that looks at the vaginal microbiome to test for sexually transmitted diseases as well as chronic vaginal infections, and SmartGut, which looks at the gut microbiome to test for gut conditions and metabolic disorders. Both can be covered by health insurance. uBiome also sells a direct-to-consumer test that doesn’t require a prescription called the “Explorer” test.
CNBC reports that uBiome routinely charged patients’ plans twice for tests. CNBC also reported that health insurer Anthem had flagged the company for its over-billing practices. Anthem did not immediately return a request for comment.
Scientists have been working on ways to use the microbiome to unlock new treatments for difficult diseases. It’s led to new companies — both on the medical side and in agriculture— that are taking a range of approaches to looking at the microbiome. It’s often seen as the “forgotten organ.”
Because Justice Department policy forbids an indictment of a sitting president, Robert Mueller chose not to say the President obstructed justice. But Mueller also refused to say that “the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice.” So the President is neither accused nor exonerated. What about the President’s personal lawyers? They don’t enjoy the President’s immunity from indictment. The Mueller Report has dozens of references to the conduct of Rudolph Giuliani and many more references to “the President’s personal counsel,” a group that includes Giuliani, Jay Sekulow, and others. Here are just a few of the Report’s references:
Pardons for Manafort
Immediately following the revocation of Manafort’s bail, the President’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, gave a series of interviews in which he raised the possibility of a pardon for Manafort. Giuliani told the New York Daily News that “[w]hen the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons.” Giuliani also said in an interview that, although the President should not pardon anyone while the Special Counsel’s investigation was ongoing, “when the investigation is concluded, he’s kind of on his own, right?,” (Vol. 2, p. 124.)
[T]he President’s personal counsel stated that individuals involved in the Special Counsel’s investigation could receive a pardon “if in fact the [P]resident and his advisors . . . come to the conclusion that you have been treated unfairly”—using language that paralleled how the President had already described the treatment of Manafort.” (Vol. 2, p. 131.)
On November 26, 2018, the Special Counsel’s Office disclosed in a public court filing that Manafort had breached his plea agreement by lying about multiple subjects. The next day, Giuliani said that the President had been “upset for weeks” about what he considered to be “the un-American, horrible treatment of Manfort.” (Vol. 2, pp. 127-28.)
Manafort told Gates that he had talked to the President’s personal counsel and they were “going to take care of us.” Manafort told Gates it was stupid to plead, saying that he had been in touch with the President’s personal counsel and repeating that they should “sit tight” and “we’ll be taken care of.” Gates asked Manafort outright if anyone mentioned pardons and Manafort said no one used that word. (Vol. 2, p. 123.)
Threatening General Flynn
After Flynn withdrew from a joint defense agreement [JDA] with the President and began cooperating with the government, the President’s personal counsel left a message for Flynn’s attorneys reminding them of the President’s warm feelings towards Flynn, which he said “still remains,” and asking for a “heads up” if Flynn knew “information that implicates the President.” When Flynn’s counsel reiterated that Flynn could no longer share information pursuant to a joint defense agreement, the President’s personal counsel said he would make sure that the President knew that Flynn’s actions reflected “hostility” toward the President. (Vol. 2, p. 6.)
Cohen’s False Testimony to Congress
In the months leading up to his congressional testimony, Cohen frequently spoke with the President’s personal counsel. Cohen said that in those conversations the President’s personal counsel would sometimes say that he had just been with the President. Cohen recalled that the President’s personal counsel told him the JDA was working well together and assured him that there was nothing there and if they stayed on message the investigations would come to an end soon. At that time, Cohen’s legal bills were being paid by the Trump Organization, and Cohen was told not to worry because the investigations would be over by summer or fall of 2017. Cohen said that the President’s personal counsel also conveyed that, as part of the JDA, Cohen was protected, which he would not be if he “went rogue.” Cohen recalled that the President’s personal counsel reminded him that “the President loves you” and told him that if he stayed on message, the President had his back.
In August 2017, Cohen began drafting a statement about Trump Tower Moscow to submit to Congress along with his document production…. … Cohen’s statement was circulated in advance to, and edited by, members of the JDA. (Vol. 2, pp. 139-141.)
Cohen understood based on this conversation and previous conversations about pardons with the President’s personal counsel that as long as he stayed on message, he would be taken care of by the President, either through a pardon or through the investigation being shut down. (Vol. 2, p. 147.)
For those of us who study the behavior of lawyers, the intriguing questions these and other passages raise are: What did the President’s personal lawyers think they were doing? Did they stay on the safe side of the legal and ethical lines that lawyers like to boast they will go “right up to” on behalf of their clients? Or did they cross the lines? We cannot definitively answer these questions, not yet anyway, but we can say that if the lawyers behaved as the Report describes, at a minimum they took very foolish risks.
Obstructing justice with threats or promises is not a service lawyers are permitted to perform for their clients. Nor is helping a client lie to Congress. Maybe a President is free to exercise his pardon power any way he wishes and even if doing so impedes justice. Or maybe not. Lawyers disagree about that. (Far fewer lawyers disagree over whether the President can dangle a pardon even if he can issue one.) But whatever immunity the President may enjoy does not extend to his lawyers.
The Mueller Report tells us that Giuliani floated the prospect of a pardon when Manafort was facing decades in prison and at a time that he could have been tempted to trade information harmful to the President for leniency. How is that any different from a subject of an investigation floating the possibility of a large cash gift or coveted job to a person in a position like Manafort’s? The Report also tells us that when Flynn withdrew from the joint defense agreement and refused any longer to share information with the President, “the President’s personal counsel” said he would ensure that the President knew that Flynn’s actions reflected “hostility” toward the President. How is that not a threat of retribution for “flipping,” a word Trump has used disdainfully, publicly, and often? And if the President’s personal counsel knowingly aided Cohen’s false congressional testimony, they can be equally guilty of lying to Congress. 18 U.S.C. §§1505, 1512, & 1515.
The open question is about intent. Did the lawyers act “corruptly” when they said and did the things the Mueller Report describes? Perhaps the broadest of the obstruction provisions is §1512(c)(2), which makes it a crime if a person “corruptly…obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.” A grand jury, a court, and a congressional hearing are official proceedings. And courts define “corruptly” broadly. United States v. Gordon, 710 F.3d 1124, 1151 (10th Cir. 2013), which the Mueller Report cites, says a person acts “corruptly” if he acts “knowingly and dishonestly with the specific intent to subvert, impede or obstruct” an official proceeding.
Conduct that obstructs justice can also run afoul of lawyer ethics rules. In New York, for example, where some of the President’s lawyers are admitted, it is a violation to “engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.” Rule 8.4(d) (also in the rules of other U.S. jurisdictions). Justice is what Mueller was administering through grand jury and court proceedings. Obstructing justice is, of course, “prejudicial to the administration of justice.” It is also a violation of the New York rules for a lawyer to engage in conduct that “adversely reflects” on his or her “fitness.” Rule 8.4(h). The Report’s findings show possible violations of both rules. Pardons are no defense to bar professional discipline.
Maybe one or more of the Mueller Report’s redactions refer to ongoing investigations of one or more of the President’s lawyers. Maybe the lawyers are now the subjects of investigation by state disciplinary bodies. Even if not, the lawyers flirted with a risk of legal and ethical sanctions. They did not owe it to their client to do so.