MASON CITY – A man with a violent criminal record has entered a guilty plea in a sexual assault that took place earlier this year at a center for troubled individuals.
Joseph Dean Wallace, age 52, stands accused of third-degree sexual assault after an incident March 29, 2016 at the North Iowa Transition Center, a facility that treats people with mental illness. Mason City police say that at approximately 1:30 AM on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, officers responded to a 911 call. A staff member had been assaulted at the North Iowa Transition Center, 408 1st Street NW. Officers arrived and the victim was sent to Mercy Medical Center North Iowa for treatment for minor injuries. The victim was later released from the hospital.
Wallace entered a plea of not guilty to the third-degree sexual assault charge. A jury trial date of June 29 was set. Just before his trial, he was sent to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville to judge his competency to stand trail. That report came back in late November, and not long after, a guilty plea in the case was entered by Wallace’s public defender. He now awaits a hearing scheduled for December 20.
Wallace is no stranger to violent charges; his past criminal record shows law enforcement has charged him with criminal mischief at least four times, assault at least four times, interference with police, willful injury, among many more. On December 1, 2015, Wallace was at Mercy Hospital, 1000 4th Street SW in Mason City. Police were called there when two Mercy employees suffered injuries after Wallace was asked to leave the premises but returned. He was arrested and charged with two counts of assault causing bodily injury, but was soon able to work a plea deal to two counts of assault. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $170.00 in court costs.