HARTINGTON — Broadcast and print reporters packed the Cedar County courtroom Wednesday morning for the first court appearance of a Randolph city official accused of sexual assault of a child.
Randolph Mayor Dwayne Schutt was arrested July 27, accused of four felony charges of sexual assault of a child and a felony child abuse charge. Schutt was released from jail the next day on a $125,000, 10 percent or $12,500 appearance bond.
Wednesday’s court appearance was part of the condition of Schutt’s bond.
If found guilty, Schutt could face up to a $10,000 fine or jail time for each felony count, according to County Judge Douglas Luebbe, who was presiding over the hearing.
Due to the three Class A felony charges, County Court will not determine if Schutt is innocent or guilty. A preliminary hearing will be held to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to Cedar County District Court.
Luebbe asked Schutt if he wanted to waive his right to a preliminary hearing and have the case proceed right to District Court. Luebbe also reminded Schutt of all of his rights.
“You are innocent until proven guilty. You have the right to remain silent or to testify,” Luebbe said. “You have a right to a preliminary hearing. You can confront the witnesses and ask questions. In the preliminary hearing, it will be decided if there is probable cause to hear the case which would then be sent to District Court.”
The behavior is alleged to have occurred over three years, according to information in the court documents.
The alleged sexual contacts with a minor, who was 14 years of age and younger, occurred between the dates of August 2011 and May 2013.
According to records filed in county court, a search warrant to obtain phone data from Verizon Wireless, which included text messages, had been granted during the investigation.
Schutt asked for a preliminary hearing to be held. Luebbe set a date of Aug. 30, at 11 a.m., and continued the bond for Schutt.