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Convicted Iowa child kidnapper dies in prison serving life sentence

ANAMOSA – A convicted Iowa child kidnapper died in prison serving a life sentence.

Robert David Wilcoxen was pronounced dead at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Wilcoxen was 69 years old at the time of his death.

Wilcoxen had been serving a life sentence for the crime of Kidnapping 1st Degree (710.2) from Scott County. His sentence began on April 7, 1995.

in 1996, Robert Wilcoxen appealed the judgment and resulting life sentence imposed following his conviction of first-degree kidnapping, but lost the appeal, court records show.

Wilcoxen was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and first-degree kidnapping based on allegations he lured a six-year-old child to a secluded area of East 305, Davenport, Iowa, where he forced the child to perform multiple sex acts. Wilcoxen pled guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse. His jury trial on the remaining charges resulted in guilty verdicts. Wilcoxen’s jury trial conviction of second-degree sexual abuse merged with his first-degree kidnapping conviction as provided by Iowa Code section 701.9 (conviction of lesser-included offense merges with conviction of greater offense). Wilcoxen was sentenced to a life term on the kidnapping conviction and an indefinite twenty-five-year term on his guilty plea sexual abuse conviction.

The trial record indicates that C.T., a six-year-old girl, accompanied Wilcoxen and her mother to an auction at East Turner Hall in Davenport on September 11, 1994. Wilcoxen, C.T., and several other children left the auction and walked to a nearby playground while C.T.’s mother remained at the auction. C.T. and the other children returned to the auction periodically. Shortly before the auction ended, C.T.’s mother saw C.T. sitting at a table with Wilcoxen. Another witness saw C.T. leave the auction with Wilcoxen and when asked where they were going, C.T. said Wilcoxen was taking her to “the swing and play.”

The record also includes evidence that Wilcoxen did not take C.T. to the playground, but that he instead took her to a secluded area approximately the same distance from East Turner Hall as the playground, where he sexually abused her. C.T.’s mother estimated C.T. was missing for approximately thirty minutes before C.T. returned to the auction with Wilcoxen.

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