Former Oelwein mayor believes politics influenced sexual assault - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former Oelwein mayor believes politics influenced sexual assault charges

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The former mayor of Oelwein took the stand Thursday in his defense against a sexual assault charge.

Jason Manus is accused of second-degree sexual assault of a 9-year-old.

Manus opened testimony saying he is innocent and he's never been alone with the alleged victim. 

Manus and the alleged victim's family were neighbors for the first few years he moved to Oelwein, and their daughters were good friends.

He says when he was arrested he was surprised and shocked, and now believes politics are playing a factor in this.

He says he started looking into some misappropriations of funds in a number of departments in the city. He was going to hold a special meeting to talk about that.

He says, coincidentally, that meeting was scheduled the same day he was arrested.

That's when he believe the victim's family played a role in this.

“What's her connection then to this?” said Jeremy Thompson, defense attorney.

“I truly believe that that's the only neighbor I've had since I've moved to this state," Manus said. "I truly believe they were paid off."

“You do not have any proof of that?” asked Thompson.

“No, I do not,” said Manus. 

Manus says he has been scared to share this information because his family still lives in Oelwein, and he is not allowed there.

If convicted, Manus could spend 25 years behind bars.

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