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, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TDavisDMR.