CEDAR RAPIDS — One Lisbon High School wrestler pleaded guilty last week to an assault charge involving bullying behavior against a teammate, and a charge against another wrestler in the same incident was dismissed.
Dakota VanDyke and Nathan Jubeck, both 18, were accused of urinating on a 15-year-old teammate in the locker room shower, according to a criminal complaint filed in March.
VanDyke entered an Alford plea to simple assault, a misdemeanor, and received a deferred judgment. Under such a plea, a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but agrees that enough evidence likely exists for a conviction.
Meanwhile, a simple assault charge against Jubeck was dismissed at the request of the 15-year-old and his family after the boy indicated in a pretrial meeting that Jubeck wasn’t part of the incident, Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier said Monday.
Last month, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said the alleged actions of the wrestlers went beyond bullying as defined in Iowa law, which isn’t a crime. He said that because the incident crossed the line to physical contact, it warranted criminal charges.
In another incident, two 17-year-old wrestlers are accused of holding down the 15-year-old and placing their exposed genitalia on his face in the wrestling room. One of those older boys is facing delinquency charges of assault and third-degree harassment in Juvenile Court. The case against the other, Austin Edwards, has since been transferred to adult court and a trial is set for May 30.
The allegations came to light in December when the 15-year-old team member reported the incidents to school officials and the Lisbon Police Department, but the investigation took some time to complete. The incidents took place before coaches arrived and practice began for the day.
Vander Sanden said officers identified at least three other alleged victims during their investigation, but the families of those teens requested that criminal charges not be filed on their behalf.
The school district never released the results of its investigation. Superintendent Brad Laures released a statement in December saying administrators had started an investigation into a “student behavior issue.”