A sentencing date has been set for an Iowa City man accused of sexually abusing teenage runaways.
27-year-old Nathaniel Whitfield of Linn Street agreed to a plea deal last week. On Monday, Judge Kevin McKeever set a sentencing hearing for March 6th.
The first alleged sexual assault occurred between June 9th and October 17th of 2021. A 14-year-old was on the run from shelter placement with another girl when she met Whitfield, who reportedly allowed them to stay at his residence on various nights during the period. During those times, Whitfield allegedly supplied the girl with marijuana that they smoked together on several occasions. A photo was reportedly located showing Whitfield and the girl kissing, and he later allegedly admitted that they had engaged in a sex act. Whitfield also reportedly admitted that he knew she was on the run and believed her to be around 15 to 16 years old.
The second victim, a 15-year-old girl, told authorities that between June 9th and August 1st Whitfield had supplied her with marijuana that they smoked together multiple times. She also told police that the two had sex multiple times and were trying to get her pregnant. Whitfield reportedly admitted that he had supplied the marijuana they smoked together, that the two were in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, and that they had engaged in a sex act.
Whitfield currently faces three counts of 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse, two Drug Distribution violations, and two counts of Harboring a Runaway. If convicted on all charges, he would have faced a sentence of up to 84 years in prison.
Terms of the plea deal have not been released.
Earlier this year Whitfield faced up to four years in jail for two counts of Harboring a Runaway against the Wishes of a Parent for a separate incident where he allegedly harbored teen runaways. One count was dismissed. On the other, Whitfield was given credit for 30 days of time served and fined $855 by Judge Jason Burns.