MASON CITY — Jury selection has been completed and testimony began on Tuesday in the kidnapping and sexual abuse trial of a Mason City man.
24-year-old Moises Erreguin-Labra is charged with first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault, as well as assault causing bodily injury. A criminal complaint states that Erreguin-Labra locked a female victim in a room in a home in the 400 block of 1st Southwest for at least five days, not allowing her to leave, and subjecting her to sexual abuse or torture.
During opening statements, prosecutor Kaitlyn Ausborn told the jury they would hear from the victim about what happened during that five day span. “She’ll tell you all the excruciating details of how she was beaten, sexually assaulted and held against her will in that room from Saturday June 4th until Thursday June 9th. She’ll tell you about the manipulation, the control, the anger, the fear. She’ll tell you about her experience with the defendant, why those supposed opportunities to flee didn’t feel feasible to her.”
Defense attorney Joseph LaPointe says witnesses will tell the jury about people who were at the house and never suspected the victim was in fear for her well being. “They were there during this four-day period, never once did they have any inclination anything like a kidnapping was going on, or they would have stepped in. There was nobody there that said they wouldn’t have been willing to help her if she would have told anybody. So she sure kept pretty quiet about being kidnapped at the time.”
Three officers from the Mason City Police Department and the mother of the victim were among those who testified on Tuesday afternoon. The victim’s mother, whose name we will not use in an attempt to protect the victim’s identity, says when her daughter escaped and called police from a nearby liquor store, she went there and was surprised to see her daughter’s condition. “Her face was bruised, her arms were bruised, chest was bruised. She was beaten up.” The mother was then asked what her daughter’s demeanor was like. “She was scared, absolutely scared.”
The victim’s mother said her daughter’s injuries appeared to be from multiple instances of violence. She was asked if it seemed the injuries could have been caused by one slap. “No, because they were severe. Her eye was bloodshot. The side of her face, that was not from a slap, that was from a beating. Her entire side of her face was bruised.”
Testimony resumes this morning in Cerro Gordo County District Court. If convicted of first-degree kidnapping, a Class A felony, Erreguin-Labra would face the rest of his life in prison without the opportunity for parole.