The trial of the State vs. Mark Douglas Bogenrief, 55, previously scheduled to begin March 21, has been delayed until early June at the request of the defense.
Bogenrief was arrested in July 2005 on two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree following a complaint filed by a 25-year-old Le Mars woman, identified as Jane Doe in court documents. The woman claimed the abuse took place in March 1993 and July 1994.
Trial was originally set for Dec. 6 in District Court. The trial was later postponed to March 21 at the request of Bogenrief's attorney who cited scheduling conflicts.
Now, in a request filed earlier this week, Bogenrief's attorney sought another continuance of the trial, and on March 14 the court agreed to sustain the petition, moving the trial to June 6 at 9 a.m. with a pre-trial conference scheduled for May 2 at 2 p.m. on the grounds that more time was needed to complete the discovery.
The defense listed a number of reasons to postpone the trial.
First, the grand jury which was to try Bogenrief on March 21 was also called upon to serve in Cedar Rapids the next day at 9 a.m. and would need time to travel on the 21st.
The defense also requested the postponement to allow for more time to further investigate and prepare for the trial. They added that, since they anticipated the prosecution would call on an expert in sexual abuse, the defense needed time to consult such an expert as well.
Finally, one of the witnesses subpoenaed by the defense, a Susan Lee Wright, requires a hearing before the Supreme Court in Putnam County, New York and that hearing has not yet been scheduled.
In further developments on the case, the court has ruled that the State may obtain a sworn statement from Jeanne Bogenrief, wife of the defendant.
Prior to this, the defense petitioned the court to throw out Jeanne Bogenrief's statement on the grounds that communications between husband and wife are by law private to them and may be excluded from use in court.
While the court sustained that private communications between Jeanne and Mark Bogenrief could not be used as testimony in the trial, they ruled that the defense may still use Jeanne Bogenrief's testimony as long as such communications are excluded. Her statement can include things her husband said to her or asserted in the presence of a third party. It can also include her observations of him outside of what he said or asserted to her.
In the same petition, the defense had urged the court to throw out the testimony of six additional witnesses because the victim had only made statements to them regarding the alleged abuse nearly a decade after it purportedly occurred.
The court agreed that the testimony of such witnesses would be hearsay and thus precluded them from testifying.