Former State Senator Kent Sorenson facing new criminal charges

Former State Senator Kent Sorenson faces new criminal charges of domestic abuse assault and interference with official acts, KCCI-TV’s Cynthia Fodor reported today. Sorenson resigned his Iowa Senate seat in 2013 and pled guilty to federal crimes last year in connection with illegal payments he received during the 2012 presidential campaign. Prosecutors have agreed to delay sentencing in that case because Sorenson has been cooperating with the federal government on a “larger investigation.”

Fodor reported that Sorenson was arrested on July 17 after a fight with his wife, Shawnee Sorenson. She did not call the police; rather, someone called 911 after seeing her walking down the road near their home. Warren County Sheriff Brian Vos said Shawnee Sorenson “had redness around her eye and did admit she had been struck by Mr. Sorenson.” Two sheriff’s deputies then suffered unspecified injuries while arresting the former senator.

Sorenson’s attorney said his client will plead not guilty to the new charges, and that the whole family has been under stress while Sorenson awaits sentencing in the federal case. In a statement to KCCI, published in full on the television station’s website, Shawnee Sorenson said today that she started the fight on Friday after drinking some alcohol, “which I now realize was not the right thing to do.” By her account, her husband grabbed her because she was “throwing things” and “clawed him.” Shawnee Sorenson added that she did not want the police involved and “would not press charges,” because “Kent looked worse than I did.” Nor did she ask for the no-contact order that was filed after the arrest. She is “tired of the media portraying Kent in a negative light. He has done his best to be a good father, husband and provider for our family despite all the pressures he is facing.”

Linh Ta reported for the Des Moines Register that Sorenson “had $2,000 bond posted to avoid jail” and will have a preliminary hearing on the new criminal charges on July 28. He was acquitted on a domestic abuse assault charge in 1994 “when the witness testified that the allegations were false,” Jennifer Jacobs reported for the Des Moines Register in 2010.  

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