Search Warrants Reveal Details in Alleged Johnston Sexual Assault


Ritter Stahlbaum and Morgan Hough (WHO-HD)

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JOHNSTON, Iowa – New information is being revealed in the alleged sexual assault of a Johnston High School student.

Four fellow-Johnston students are charged in the case and information unveiled in search warrant applications is providing a better idea of what happened the night of the alleged assault.

Eighteen-year-old Morgan Hough and 17-year-old Ritter Stahlbaum are charged with 2nd degree sexual abuse, first degree robbery, and felony assault–penetration of the genitalia-anus. Fifteen-year-olds Kaden Dishman and Noah Lamar are charged with first degree robbery and felony assault–penetration of the genitalia-anus.

The charges relate to an incident that happened September 8th. Police began investigating after administrators at Johnston High School informed them three people, who wished to remain anonymous, had come forward to make complaints about the incident. They said the victim was at a party with other students and became intoxicated. The search warrant application claims those people said, “While passed out he[the victim] was allegedly choked, assaulted, urinated on and sodomized digitally.”

In an interview with the victim, police learned he didn’t remember much of the night but was told later what happened and there were videos on his phone that corroborated much of the information.

The investigator viewed a video that showed the victim being slapped and kicked while he was unconscious on the floor. Another video shows the victim being punched and choked. More videos showed other abuse to the victim.

The investigator noted the videos were able to show that all four suspects participated in the assault.

The victim informed the investigator he had been told by several people that there was also a video of one of the suspects sticking a finger in his anus and that he believed the videos had been uploaded to Snapchat.

Previous court records indicate Dishman and Lamar are working plea agreements in the case.

A pre-trial conference is being held Thursday afternoon at the Polk County Courthouse.


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