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Sioux Center man sentenced for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse

SIOUX COUNTY, Iowa (KCAU) — A Sioux Center man was sentenced on April 17 for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Onofre Bernardo Mendez, 47, of Sioux Center, Iowa, was sentenced for the crime of assault with intent to commit sex abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor, according to the Sioux County Attorney’s Office. He pleaded guilty to the charges on April 15 as part of a plea agreement.

On April 15, Bernardo Mendez pled guilty to the amended count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor after agreeing to a plea agreement.

The release states the case arose on Feb. 2 when the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about a sexual abuse assault that took place about a mile southeast of Sioux Center. Further investigation revealed that Bernardo Mendez served as the victim’s employment supervisor and began giving the victim rides home on days he had the victim stay late. Authorities report on one occasion Bernardo Mendez used force to sexually assault the victim in his 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

On February 22 the police filed charges against Bernardo Mendez and he was arrested. He posted a $10,000 bond but instead of being released, was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal proceedings. Sioux County authorities, however, coordinated with ICE to temporarily take custody to complete their prosecution before ICE resumed their removal proceedings.

Bernardo Mendez was sentenced to 25 days in the Sioux County Jail, then he will be returned to ICE custody for removal proceedings from the United States.

Mendez was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life, 10-year supervising like on parole, and pay a variety of criminal fines and surcharges. The court further ordered Mendez to have no contact with the victim for the next five years.

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