IOWA CITY – An Iowa man who once attacked a child in an elementary school bathroom with a steak knife and was sent to prison for life has died of Covid-19, officials say.
Gene Edward Dryer was pronounced dead, likely due to complications related to COVID-19 and other preexisting medical conditions at approximately 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He had been transported there from the Clarinda Correctional Facility several days earlier when medical staff noticed his condition beginning to worsen. Dryer was 72 years old at the time of his death.
Dryer had been serving a life sentence for the crime of Kidnapping 1st Degree (710.2) from Dubuque County. His sentence began on May 3, 1994.
The Associated Press reported back in 1994 on Dryer’s conviction:
A jury deliberated for about two hours Tuesday before finding a Dubuque man guilty of first- degree kidnapping in an attack on a 9-year-old girl. Gene Dryer, 46, was convicted in the attack of the girl on the rest-room floor at Fulton Elementary School in Dubuque on Dec. 8. Dryer admitted he sexually abused the girl, but defense attorneys were contesting charges of first-degree kidnapping and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon – a steak knife. They failed to convince the jury that Dryer didn’t confine the girl during the assault. Dryer also was found guilty on weapons charges Lawrence Fautsch told jurors they did not need to rule on the sexual abuse charge if they found Dryer guilty of kidnapping. Judge Lawrence Fautsch told jurors they did not need to rule on the sexual abuse charge if they found Dryer guilty of kidnapping.