Namibian student faces more sex charges

09 May 2019 | Crime

A Namibian student studying in the United States is facing additional charges of sexually exploiting a minor after he was initially arrested for rape.

Jona Shitaleni Paulus (33) now also faces additional charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of footage of a minor depicting a sexual act after police searched his cellphone.

Paulus, who is a graduate student at Iowa State University, was arrested in April and charged with sexual abuse in the third degree - forcible rape, after allegedly raping a woman he had met on Tinder.

IOWA.com reported that local law enforcement performed a Cellbrite extraction search of Paulus's cellphone after his arrest.

According to the online media report, a text message conversation between Paulus and a 16-year-old girl was found.

In this conversation Paulus apparently solicited naked pictures and a video of a prohibited sexual act from the girl.

Paulus was therefore charged with two additional felonies, namely sexual exploitation of a minor - cause to engage in a prohibited sexual act (Class C Felony) and purchase/possession of a minor in a sex act first offence (Class D Felony) in relation to the footage.

In the conversations that took place between 1 April and 5 April, the minor identified herself as a 16-year-old multiple times during the chats, it was reported.

Police interviewed the girl on 30 April and she confirmed that it was her in the pictures and video sent to Paulus.

Paulus was first arrested after he allegedly had coercive sex with a woman who was in his apartment during the early morning hours of 6 April, holding her down against her will.

The woman claimed that she had told Paulus that she did not want to have sex with him, but he assaulted her anyway. She was able to escape and call 911.

When the police interviewed Paulus three days later, he admitted sex had taken place, but claimed that it was consensual.

Authorities noted in charging documents that the woman had bruising on her wrists and hands. The two had met on the dating site Tinder and had been talking for a few weeks.

Meanwhile, police also responded to a sexual assault report at a university residence on the night of 6 April, with a woman who claimed that Paulus had forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The woman later said she had discovered videos and pictures on his phone showing sexual acts committed with her and several other girls.

No charges have been filed regarding these allegations.

Paulus is being held at the Story County Jail on a US$75 000 cash-only bond.

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