Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Breaking News

November 7, 2011

City council candidate Ben Dawson arrested again, receives more charges

CENTERVILLE — On Monday, November 7, 2011 the Centerville Police Department arrested Ben Clifford Dawson, age 83, of Centerville. Dawson was charged with the crime of Assault With the Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse, an Aggravated Misdemeanor and Harassment, a Simple Misdemeanor, according to a press release issued by the Centerville Police Department on Monday afternoon.

The charges were brought about after two additional victims reported to the Police Department that they had been assaulted or harassed by Dawson.

On November 3, 2011 a female victim alleged that on or about June 11, 2011 Dawson had rubbed her leg, grabbed her breast and offered to perform oral sex upon her. The victim stated that all of these acts caused her to be uncomfortable and fearful that Dawson would commit further sexual abuse.

On November 4, 2011 a female victim alleged that during the month of June, Dawson made inappropriate sexual comments to them on multiple occasions. The remarks caused the victim to be alarmed and annoyed. The victim was also fearful for any potential victims of Dawson’s comments.

Dawson was released from the Appanoose County Jail after posting bond in the amount of $2,000.00.

These charges are in addition to those that were filed by the Centerville Police Department against Dawson on November 1, 2011. Dawson currently faces one count of Prostitution, two counts of Assault With the Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse and one count of harassment.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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