Woman Takes Witness Stand Against Officer in Assault Case
ADEL, Iowa - A trial for a Clive police officer charged in a sexual abuse case started Monday.
John Brodersen, 47, was charged with assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, no injury after a report was filed on Jan. 31. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The trial is being held at the Dallas County Courthouse in Adel.
A woman reported inappropriate physical contact while Brodersen was off duty at a private residence, attending a neighborhood party.
Monday afternoon, the woman who reported the allegations against Brodersen took the witness stand.
The woman brought along the clothes she wore the night she said Brodersen inappropriately touched her. She was wearing sweatpants and a loose fitting shirt.
The prosecution said the woman objected when Brodersen put his hand down her pants. The prosecutor also said Brodersen then put his hand up the woman's shirt to her breast.
The defense said there was a lot of drinking the night of the reported incident.
The attorney said the woman's husband found out about some flirting and became angry.
The attorney said the woman was too afraid to tell him not to call 911. She was "in a corner," defense attorney Thomas Graves said.
The woman told the court that she had a glass of wine, three beers and a mixed drink.
The woman said she was sitting in a chair at a table next to Brodersen when he started slapping her leg every time someone said something funny. Then he started rubbing her thigh and put his hand up her shirt and down her pants under her underwear.
She said she doesn't say anything, but she dropped her arm. She said Brodersen took his hand out and put it up under her shirt, under her bra. She shifted her body and he pulled away, she said.
She said she didn't try harder to stop him because "he's a cop" and "he might be armed." She said she was afraid and didn't know what he would do if she stopped him.
Brodersen and his wife left the party.
The woman said that's when she told her husband and her husband took a baseball bat and said he was going to go to Brodersen's house.
Her husband called 911. Shouting was heard on the recording of the 911 call. The defense said an argument between the woman and her husband about whether or not to call 911 can be heard.
The attorney said that on the recording the woman can be heard telling her husband that nothing happened.
The woman told the court that there's no way that someone could distinguish her voice from the crowd of people talking at that time and she can't remember saying anything like that.
Several other people at the party were urging her not to call 911, she said.
Brodersen has been with the police department for 24 years. He is on unpaid leave.
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