Orange City, Iowa — A Matlock man facing sexual abuse charges has been found guilty.
According to Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle, 33-year-old Daren Thomas Leikvold of Matlock was found guilty on September 29, 2016 in Sioux County District Court for one count of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, a Class C Felony.
Kunstle says that in February of 2016 authorities were contacted by Sheldon school officials who learned a 12-year-old child reported she was twice raped by her mother’s boyfriend, Daren Leikvold, who denied he ever inappropriately touched the child. After investigating, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office arrested Leikvold, charging him with two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree.
Court records say Leikvold pled not guilty, waived his right to a jury trial, and the case proceeded to a bench trial before the Honorable Chief Judge Duane Hoffmeyer on July 19-20, 2016. Leikvold choose not to testify. In July, after the bench trial, but before the verdict, court documents say that the defense moved to that all evidence that was worked on by State Criminalist Amy Pollpeter be struck from the record. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Pollpeter was fired after she violated the department’s social media and general conduct policies in an unrelated matter.
On Thursday (September 29, 2016,) before announcing his verdict, Judge Hoffmeyer said that according to past case law, the unrelated misconduct by Pollpeter did not invalidate the results of the evidence she processed.
Hoffmeyer found Leikvold guilty on one count of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. Leikvold will appear for a sentencing hearing at 10:00 a.m. on October 31, 2016. Because Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree is a forcible felony, Leikvold was taken into immediate custody pending sentencing.