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North Iowa man convicted of sexual assault petitions to be removed from state sex offender registry

The judge said he plans on making a written order in the next few weeks.

Posted: Dec. 17, 2018 7:43 PM
Updated: Dec. 18, 2018 7:35 AM

A man convicted in 2012 of aiding and abetting in the sexual abuse and ultimate death of a North Iowa woman was in court Monday asking to be removed from the state Sex Offender Registry.

Zachary Patterson was convicted of sexual assault in 2012. He served 6 months in jail and completed parole and probation. Patterson was at the house the night 27-year-old Bridget Wirtjes was sexually assaulted and later died.

During Patterson’s petition hearing, the defense said he didn’t participate in the assault, but was there while it was going on. They explained that Patterson had a risk evaluation done, which determined he was a low risk to offend again and the sex registry wasn’t designed as punishment.

Patterson explained that being on the state registry has embarrassed his family, hurt his chances of employment and kept him from seeing his grandparents in care facilities.

Worth County County Attorney Jeff Greve agreed but the victim’s step-mother tells us he doesn’t deserve to be taken off the list.

“I’m mad,” said Janet Bottleman. “He shouldn’t be released early. The sentence was for a reason.”

The judge said he plans on making a written order in the next few weeks. Patterson declined to comment.

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