BOONE, IOWA – An Iowa man who beat his pregnant girlfriend has been found guilty of abuse and faces a prison sentence, even after the victim recanted the story in court.
On March 6, 2018, a jury at the Boone County Courthouse found Jay D. Wenger, age 29 of Ogden, Iowa, guilty of Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation causing Bodily Injury in violation of Iowa Code section 708.2A(5).
The conviction carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.
The jury trial was held in the Boone County District Associates Court on March 6, 2018. The case originated by a call to the Boone County Sheriff’s Communication Center on October 30, 2017, when the frightened victim called 911 reporting that her boyfriend Jay Wenger attacked her. She stated that Jay Wenger and her were arguing, she told him to leave and he got upset dragging her on the floor by her hair and choking her. Boone County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence in Ogden. Deputies interviewed the victim and she stated that she told Jay Wenger that she wanted to leave him and wanted him out of the house. Jay Wenger got angry with her and threw her on the ground dragging her on the floor by her hair and choking her. She reported to deputies that she was pregnant with his child at the time and they have been living together for about one year. A Deputy interviewed Jay Wenger at the scene. He admitted to being upset with the victim and said that he only grabbed her by the shirt and threw her down. Deputies documented that the victim had injuries to her neck that are consistent with strangulation and that the victim was extremely upset with redness to her face and ears consistent with the struggle. Deputies arrested Jay Wenger that morning for Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation causing Bodily Injury in violation with Iowa Code section 708.2A(5).
The one day jury trial was held in the Boone County Courthouse in the District Associates Courtroom on March 6, 2018. The State presented evidence of the 911 call and from the Sheriff’s Deputies bodycam along with photos and testimony of the deputies at the scene and the 911 dispatcher. The victim testified for Jay Wenger, claiming she fabricated the story because she had been experiencing a traumatic flashback. This recantation of earlier statements by a victim is not uncommon in domestic abuse cases. At the end of the trial and after deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding the defendant, Jay D. Wenger, guilty of Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation causing Bodily Injury. A sentencing date will be held at a later date.
Jay Wenger faces up to five years in prison.
The case was investigated by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. The State was represented by Boone County Attorney Daniel Kolacia. Jay Wenger was represented by a local attorney.