Prosecutor Resigns Before Arrest For Stealing Woman’s Panties

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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Former Marshall County prosecutor Benjamin Stansberry entered a not guilty plea after being charged with stealing underwear from a woman's home.

The 40-year-old turned himself into police on Monday. Before his arrest, he quit his job in the County Attorney's office.

“It's a disturbing situation. We're trying to figure out why it occurred, that’s part of the investigation,” said Marshalltown Police Chief Michael Tupper.

Police say Stansberry stole a pair of black underwear from a co-worker’s bedroom on Aug. 22. He is now facing charges of 5th degree Theft and Trespass.

“I want to make it very clear that our victim here had no relationship with Mr. Stansberry other than the fact that she worked with him,” said Tupper.

Stansberry still holds a seat on the Marshalltown School Board. He was elected to the post last November.

“We were shocked you know relative to the allegations,” said Marshalltown Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Schutte says board members should be role models for the community and for the students and staff. School officials say they hope Stansberry does what’s in the “best interest” of the community.

“As it relates to the individual being on the school board, there's really nothing school district officials can do,” explained Schutte.

School board members are elected officials and the crimes Stansberry is facing are simple misdemeanors. Both carry a penalty of up to a $625 fine and 30 days in jail.

“He either needs to resign or the school board really needs to look at maybe not having him there anymore,” said parent Dawn Smithley.

The next school board meeting is set for Sept. 12.

Stansberry's attorney declined to comment on the case.