Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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October 24, 2013

Chirch waives preliminary hearing

Knoxville — Burglary and sexual abuse suspect Aaron Lee Chirch, 33, of Prairie City, has waived his preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for Friday. 

Chirch is charged with third-degree sexual abuse, stalking and burglary following an incident on Oct. 16. On that night, a Marion County deputy was driving past a home and observed Chirch's vehicle in the driveway. The deputy had knowledge of the suspect's vehicle and that the resident of the home had a no contact order in place against Chirch. 

The deputy returned with Sheriff Jason Sandholdt and the Monroe Police Department. Inside, a woman told them that Chirch was allegedly in the back room, making noise and threatening to take his own life. Officers allegedly observed two, self-inflicted knife wounds on Chirch's abdomen. He was taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment. 

According to court records, the woman told the officers that she woke up to find him standing over her, whispering her name. She had not invited, nor let him into the home. 

She went on to tell officers that Chirch repeatedly threatened to kill himself, had written a suicide note, and had lacerated his chest in front of her. Chirch also allegedly requested oral and vaginal sex from the woman. She told officers that while she did not want to, she feared what his reaction would be if she refused, given his state of mind and past threats of violence against her. 

Chirch's attorney, Richard Phelps, filed the hearing waiver today (Thursday). Chirch is being held in the Marion County Jail. 

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