Mann found guilty: Will face 25-year prison sentence

William Mann reacts as the guilty verdict is announced by the court attendant.

It took a Keokuk County Jury of six men and six women only 30 minutes to decide the fate of William Kirby Mann: guilty of one count of second-degree sexual abuse. Mann, of Keswick, stood trial last week, after being accused of inappropriately touching an eight-year-old female. During the three-day trial, the state, led by Assistant Attorney General Maureen Hughes, and County Attorney Amber Thompson, sought to show that Mann had specifically targeted the victim in the case. Despite her age, the victim in the case testified before the jury.

During sometimes graphic testimony, the victim recounted a January 2019 incident, that she said occurred while she was left in the care of Mann.

“He touched my bad spot,” the victim testified on August 7. “I said ‘no’,” the victim added.

The victim went on to recount how she told her father about the incident two days later, on a Monday morning, while getting ready for school. Her father, Eric McDonald, testified that the victim as left in the care of Mann, and his wife, over the weekend while McDonald and his wife attended a work holiday part. Mann and his wife had taken care of the children in the past. On the morning that the victim told him of the alleged abuse, she was “not acting right”, McDonald testified. After telling him what she said occurred the previous weekend, McDonald testified that he did not know what to do right away.

“I froze,” McDonald recalled.

McDonald testified that he left the family home and ran down to his wife’s work, where he told his wife what had happened. There, both of them comforted each other where, McDonald said, they made the decision to call the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Adam Clark responded to that call. Clark testified that he met the family at the Keokuk County Health Center Emergency Room, where the victim was undergoing an examination. He briefly spoke with the parents and the victim, before setting up an interview in Hiawatha, with an investigator with the Child Protection Center (CPC), a routine affair in sexual abuse investigations. That interview was scheduled for the next day, January 29, 2019. In response to questions under cross-examination by defense attorney Gary Oldenberger, Clark acknowledged that to this point, no interview had been set up or conducted with Mann, who was the focus of the allegation.

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