Judge denies motion for new trial in Burlington rape case, gives sentence of up to 25 years

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BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) - A Des Moines County judge has denied a motion for a new trial in the sexual assault conviction of Steven Mauck in Burlington.

Tuesday afternoon, Judge Mary Ann Brown handed down the mandatory sentence of up to 25 years, with no eligibility for parole until at least 70 percent of the sentence is served -- a minimum of at least 17.5 years.

Brown said, "I would hope that even though you have a lengthy prison sentence sentence here, something positive, your rehabilitation can come from that. But, it cannot come unless you accept responsibility for your actions and the wrongs that you've done. As previously pointed out, there's a mandatory sentence and it will be imposed at this time. It is hereby the order of the court that the defendant will be convicted of the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree."

Mauck addressed the judge saying, in part, "I will offer no apology to the victim... the alleged victim in this case."

The victim, who provided an emotional victim impact statement said, "You not only took my body, but you took a piece of my soul." She went on to say she initially felt fortunate to have another customer, "I thought you were a blessing but what a cruel world it was to see this man I thought was a blessing turn into the ugliest demon when a gun was punched against my temple."

She said, "I stand here for my life and other women you've hurt. I stand for the tears you shed with your destructive nature. I stand here broken but I still stand. You are going away for a long time. Because in the end good always wins."

Mauck was found guilty of sexual abuse in the 2nd degree by a Des Moines County Jury after officials said he sexually assaulted a woman at gunpoint in August.

The defense claimed juror misconduct and post-verdict, newly discovered evidence were both grounds for a new trial. At issue in regards to the motion alleging juror misconduct was a post made on social media by a juror during the time period the trial was underway.

Judge Brown said Tuesday that that there was no evidence that any jurors made specific, case-related comments on social media and that the juror in question, who was called to the stand on Tuesday, did not make a statement intended to influence the verdict.

TV6 is not naming that juror.

The defense also presented new evidence as part of the motion. They called a current Lee County Jail inmate to the stand to testify on behalf of Mauck.

The inmate, Clifton Luckett, claimed to know the victim and told the court the she allegedly said to him during an interaction that she wanted revenge, and the prosecution told her what to say during her testimony during the trial.

Luckett said the interaction happened after the trial at some time in the weeks following.

The victim also testified and said she did not know the inmate, and that she had not had any interaction with him.

Judge Brown said Luckett's testimony was difficult to understand, and she did not find him to be a credible witness.

The state recommended the maximum sentence of 25 years for the sexual assault, calling the crime "premeditated and planned," with a mandatory minimum of 70 percent served. The defense did not oppose the recommendation.