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Another Trial Delay for Two Johnston Teens Accused of Sexual Assault

Ritter Stahlbaum and Morgan Hough (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The trial of two teens accused of sexually assaulting a fellow Johnston High School student in 2017 has again been delayed.

The trial for 19-year-old Morgan Hough and 18-year-old Ritter Stahlbaum had originally been set for January, but a judge agreed to a delay and it was re-scheduled to begin next week. On July 13th, the judge granted another continuation and now the teens won’t go to trial until November 5th.

Hough and Stahlbaum are charged with 2nd degree sexual abuse, first degree robbery, and felony assault. The charges stem from an assault in September of 2017.

Court documents say the defendants “did commit Assault Forcible Sodomy by using an object to penetrate the genitalia or anus” of the victim. The assault happened at the house of one of the defendants. The teens were also accused of taking the victim’s wallet and using his credit card.

Investigators say portions of the assault were captured on cell phone videos.

Two other teens accused in the assault, Noah Lamar and Kaden Dishman, have already taken plea deals in the case.

Lamar pleaded guilty in December to first degree robbery in the case. The court opted to place him on youthful offender status, which means he will be in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court until his 18th birthday. If he stays out of trouble, the charge of felony assault forcible penetration with an object could be lowered and he will remain off the sex offender registry.

In May, Dishman pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting willful injury causing bodily injury and improper use of credit card. He was given juvenile offender status and will be on probation until his 18th birthday.