The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 4, 2014

JUST IN: Boutwell trial continues today with officer testimony

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — Prosecutors continued to build their case this morning against a Clinton man accused of dozens of sex-related crimes.

Jason Boutwell, 33, is accused of sexually abusing and exploiting his stepdaughter from February 2006 to January 2012 and faces seven charges of second-degree sexual abuse and 60 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. If convicted, Boutwell could serve as much as 25 years in prison for each sexual abuse charge and as much as 10 years for each sexual exploitation charge.

Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow called Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Ward Crawley to the stand to discuss two desktop computers, a laptop, a digital camera and two flashdrives he examined as part of the investigation. On Monday, Clinton Police Officer Shane Haskell testified that he and two other officers seized these items from the victim's home, where Boutwell spent a significant amount of time, on Jan. 27, 2012.

For the last seven years, Crawley has served in the cyber unit as a forensic computer examiner as part of the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He detailed for the court how he used EnCase software to search the devices for any contraband images.

"In this case we were looking for pictures of child pornography," Crawley said.

Crawley testified that the only contraband he found was located on one of the two computer towers, identified as police evidence item No. 6. Clinton County Deputy Jessup Schroeder testified Monday that the defendant admitted to using that computer, which he called the "guest computer," to download specific programs.

In cross examination this morning, defense attorney Bruce Ingham had Schroeder confirm that Boutwell spoke with him regarding the allegations despite not being required to and that he maintained that he knew nothing of any abuse or images of the victim.

Crawley detailed files found in both the allocated and unallocated spaces on the computer, which fit the conversation Schroeder testified he had with the defendant. Two resumes with Boutwell's name were found on the computer, with the e-mail listed as a contact for him.

Crawley testified that "zyelos" was a username on the computer, along with the administrator and guest user accounts. He linked the resumes, as well as several downloaded Japanese henti images to the "zyelos" user account. The images in unallocated space, meaning they had been deleted, could not be linked to any specific account, date or times because they were deleted and that information was stripped.

Along with other unallocated images, Crawley testified to locating 64 images of child pornography. Looking at a family photo with Boutwell and the victim, he identified that child as the one in the illegal photographs.

Ingham objected to the admission of the photos in question into evidence due to relevance, but was overruled. Barlow passed a print of the pictures to the jury, waiting for each member to look at the images.

In cross examination, Ingham asked Crawley if images can be saved to a computer accidentally while burning a CD. Crawley agreed that is true. After being questioned, he also conceded that by visiting a website, a person could have saved photos they did not mean to save.

The jury was dismissed for lunch at noon. The trial will continue at 1:15 p.m.