Johnston Student Enters Guilty Plea, Will Not Go to Trial in Assault Case

Polk County Courthouse (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  A Johnston teen was due to stand trial Monday, but instead abruptly accepted a plea deal.

In 2017, 16-year-old Kaden Dishman and three other Johnston teens allegedly sexually assaulted another student, stole his wallet, and spent his money. According to the criminal complaint, the incident happened off campus in a Johnston home.

“There were four boys, two 18-year-olds and two 15-year-olds, unfortunately drinking and getting out of control,” said defense attorney Tim McCarthy.

On Monday, jury selection was expected to begin as Dishman stood trial for first degree robbery. However, he instead entered a guilty plea for one of the charges he faced.

“He did not plead to any sex crimes. He did not plead to directly assaulting or injuring [the victim], he plead to aiding and abetting willful injury causing bodily injury,” McCarthy said.

This carries a maximum of five years in prison, but Dishman pleaded guilty to improper use of credit card as part of a plea deal. As a result, the two sex assault charges were dropped.

“Placed him in the juvenile offender’s status, where he’s going to be on supervision until his 18th birthday, which is over a year and a half from now,” McCarthy said.

Dishman will be sentenced in juvenile court next week. The other 16-year-old in this case, Noah Lamar, has already pleaded guilty to first degree robbery. Two other teens allegedly involved are scheduled to be in court next month on similar charges.