CLINTON — In his opening statement, Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow told a Clinton County jury Monday that Jason Boutwell’s stepdaughter, now age 12, put her trust in him.
Barlow continued that the defendant — who faces seven charges of second-degree sexual abuse and 60 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor — used and abused that trust by sexually assaulting and photographing the girl from age 4 until she was 9.
After a morning of jury selection, Boutwell’s trial began a little after 2 p.m. Monday, with Barlow reading the trial information and making his opening statement. The State alleges that between February 2006 and January 2012, the defendant sexually abused the victim seven times and had the minor engage in a sexual act and captured it in photographs, film or other digital storage means.
The sexual abuse charges could carry as much as 25 years in prison each and the sexual exploitation charges could each carry as much as 10 years. If found guilty of all 67 charges and ordered to serve his sentences consecutively, Boutwell could be ordered to serve as much as 775 years in prison.
The State’s first witness, Clinton Police Officer Shane Haskell, told the court that he accompanied an Iowa Department of Human Services agent to the home of the alleged victim and Trishia Piantieri, with whom Boutwell has two children, on Jan. 23, 2012, to investigate the alleged sexual assault. Haskell has served as a School Resource Officer at Washington Middle School, Jefferson Elementary School and Bluff Elementary School for three years. When they arrived at the residence, they encountered Boutwell, who packed a bag and left the home upon the DHS representative’s request.
Haskell testified that four days later, he and two other officers executed a warrant at the home and seized a laptop, two computer towers, a digital camera and two flashdrives. Barlow had Haskell go through a series of photographs taken that day, identifying where each piece of equipment was found. The computers, camera and flashdrives were sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation lab in Cedar Rapids for examination.