October 27, 2010

Prosecutor Seeks Retrial in Itoh Case

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Toshiki Itoh

Toshiki Itoh

This story is part of IowaWatch’s ongoing coverage of the trial of Toshiki Itoh, a University of Iowa Professor accused of sexually abusing and assaulting his lab assistant. Click below to read earlier coverage.

10-25: UI Professor found guilty of physical assault, hung jury on sexual abuse
10-24: Attorneys make final arguments in Itoh case, verdict expected Tuesday
10-23: ‘Irritated’ Judge halts trial as UI Professor claims self defense
10-22: UI Professor denies sexual abuse, assault
10-21: Fearing loss of job, lab assistant kept abuse secret, she testifies
10-20: UI Professor assaulted lab assistant many times, victim says
10-18: Two years paid leave, no spotlight for UI professor on trial for sexual abuse

The Johnson County Attorney’s office is going to seek a retrial of University of Iowa Assistant Professor Toshiki Itoh on a charge of sexual abusing his lab assistant, Elizabeth Beglin, the trial prosecutor said Wednesday.

A district court jury Tuesday found the pathology professor guilty of two counts of assault causing bodily injury, which are serious misdemeanors, but deadlocked on a 12-2 vote on one count sex abuse in the third degree.

The sentencing for the assault charges has been scheduled Dec. 10. The maximum possible sentence is one-year for each count, which could add up to two years if the two sentences run consecutively. Itoh’s attorney said Tuesday she would file an appeal of the convictions.

Toshiki Itoh

The trial for the sex abuse case is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 13. A conviction could result in a maximum of five years imprisonment. Itoh has pled not guilty to the charge.

Itoh’s lab assistant accused him of sexually abusing her from Jan. 1, 2007, to July 10, 2008. During that time, she alleged that he twisted her breasts until they bled and that he fondled her breasts and genitals after punching her on July 8 and again on July 10.

It is possible that the judgment on the assault charges could be deferred, and if Itoh meets certain conditions during a probationary period, his conviction would be erased from his record. The minimum punishment for physical assault is a $315 fine.

Itoh has been on paid administrative leave with a salary of $93,000 since the summer of 2008. Even after being found guilty of physically assaulting his lab assistant, he remains on paid leave until further notice, according to UI Media Relations Coordinator Tom Moore.

(Mike Anderson is senior journalism major at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a second major in philosophy and a minor in English)

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