Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON - During the last two weeks, multiple cases relating to sexual abuse progressed through the court system, with many now awaiting a trial.
The following information was acquired from court filings.
Dagger Le Erdman
A new trial date was set for 18-year-old Dagger Le Erdman who is being tried as an adult for a 2019 charge of sexual abuse.
On May 31, 2019, Erdman sexually abused a child under the age of 12, according to court documents.
At the time, Erdman was 17 years old.
The case was brought before Judge Daniel Kitchen to determine if Erdman would be tried as an adult. According to the court filings, it was determined there are not reasonable prospects for rehabilitation based on the circumstances of the crime, the child's prior contact with authorities and past efforts to rehabilitate.
Kitchen determined Erdman would be tried as an adult.
In December 2019, Erdman pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a speedy trial. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his jury trial was continued through 2020 into 2021.
A new trial date is set for May 18.
Lawrence Earl Eastwood
A case dating back to 2015 resulted in a guilty plea this week.
According to court documents, 54-year-old Lawrence Earl Eastwood plans to plead guilty to charges of sexual abuse and lascivious acts with a child.
Eastwood had formerly pleaded not guilty.
On April 4, 2016, Washington County sheriff's investigator Chad Ellis received information in reference to a case of sexual abuse that occurred in 2015.
An arrest warrant was issued for Eastwood on May 2, 2016, with a bail of $20,000. No movement on the case was apparent in the court filings until 2020.
On June 27, 2020, Eastwood arrived at the Washington County Jail after being transported from the Texas Department of Corrections in Del Valle, Texas.
Eastwood has a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 26.
Elmer Alberto Ramirez
A trial set for Friday, Feb. 16 was continued due to the defendant and witness needing an interpreter.
The trial was for 40-year-old Elmer Alberto Ramirez who is charged with sexual abuse, dissemination and exhibition of obscene material to minors, indecent exposure and lascivious acts with a child.
On Dec. 4, 2019, Washington police Sgt. Brian VanWilligen received a report of child sexual abuse between 2014 and 2016 to a child under 12 while in child care. Ramirez has pleaded not guilty.
Ramirez was held on a $50,000 cash bond. In April 2020, Ramirez's attorney, Dan Vondra, provided seven letters from individuals in support of a bond reduction.
In the letters, individuals said Ramirez is a supportive father and hard worker. The bond was reduced to $25,000 with requirement of GPS monitoring.
The trial was continued because the state interpreter was unavailable. A new trial is set for March 2.