Trial Delayed Again in Johnston Sexual Assault Case

Ritter Stahlbaum and Morgan Hough (WHO-HD)

POLK COUNTY, Iowa – Another delay has been granted in the trial of two former Johnston High School students accused of sexually assaulting a classmate in 2017.

The bench trial for 20-year-old Morgan Hough and 19-year-old Ritter Stahlbaum had been scheduled to begin Tuesday in Polk County court, but last week a judge granted a motion from the defendants to delay the trial.

The defense requested more time because of new discovery in the case and the lead detective is on extended leave.

Hough and Stahlbaum are charged with sexual abuse, robbery, and assault in connection with an incident that happened in September of 2017. Investigators say the two, along with Kaden Dishman and Noah Lamar, are accused of sexually abusing a classmate at Hough’s home. The incident was recorded on numerous cell phones.

Dishman and Lamar were charged as minors and pleaded guilty lesser charges.

The verdict in Hough and Stahlbaum’s trial will come down to a judge. Both have waived their right to a jury trial.

A status hearing has been scheduled for later this week to schedule a new trial date.

The victim’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against all four of the suspects and their parents. The trial date in the case has been set for Nov. 4th.

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