Washington, Iowa, mayor charged with sexual abuse

Jaron Price Rosien, 38, of Washington, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of third-degree sexual abuse.

The mayor of Washington, Iowa, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly groping and kissing a man at a bar.

Jaron Price Rosien, 38, of 829 S. Iowa Ave., Washington, was charged with third-degree sexual abuse.

The alleged sexual assault took place in the early hours of Jan. 8 in a Washington tavern, where Rosien allegedly engaged in “unwanted and inappropriate touching” of a 27-year-old man who was patronizing the bar.

The victim reported the alleged sexual assault to officers of the Washington Police Department, which sought assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

A review by law enforcement of surveillance video taken at the bar on the night in question “appears to show an individual believed to be Rosien near” the victim, and Rosien allegedly “appears to kiss” the victim “on the cheek or ear” while also placing his right hand “between the legs of” the victim and “near or on the groin of” the victim, according to court records.

In an interview with law enforcement, Rosien “admitted to behaving flirtatiously with” the victim but “neither admitted to nor denied inappropriately touching” the victim but said that he, “due to his own level of intoxication, could not recall,” according to court records.

Rosien was elected to the Washington City Council in 2014 and has served as the town’s mayor since 2018. He is held in the Washington County Jail on a $10,000 cash or surety bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 3 in Washington County District Court.

The investigation was conducted by agents of the Major Crime Unit of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Washington County Attorney’s office and the office of the Iowa Attorney General-Area Prosecutions Division.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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