Iowa Supreme Court upholds Latrice Lacey’s harassment conviction

Local News

Latrice Lacey (OurQuadCities.com file photo)

On Thursday, the Iowa Supreme Court confirmed Latrice Lacey’s conviction of harassment in the second degree.

Lacey, Davenport Civil Rights Commission director, appealed the conviction after a jury trial. She was sentenced in January 2020 on a serious misdemeanor crime of second-degree harassment. Lacey was found guilty of that charge in September 2019.

She contended there was insufficient evidence to convict, and that the district court erred in excluding evidence of the victim’s “prior bad acts,” abused its discretion in refusing to continue sentencing, and abused its discretion in imposing its sentence, according to the court opinion issued Thursday.

Davenport Civil Rights Commission Director Latrice Lacey was sentenced on the serious misdemeanor crime of second-degree harassment. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on three counts of assault.

(https://www.iowacourts.gov/iowa-courts/supreme-court/supreme-court-opinions/case/20-0030)

When Lacey was retried on those charges, that jury found her not guilty of those charges. The harassment charge is the only conviction out of the incident, Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said.

The district court sentenced Lacey to one year in jail, suspended the sentence, and placed Lacey on probation.

The Iowa Supreme Court concluded “Lacey’s conviction is supported by substantial evidence, and we conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion in its evidentiary rulings or in imposing sentence.”

The court also considered Lacey’s lack of criminal history as a mitigating factor.

The 2018 incident

According to the arrest affidavit, Davenport Police responded to a 911 call on April 30, 2018 about a fight on the 400 block of Pershing Avenue. The affidavit says Lacey went there to confront a man because she suspected he damaged property belonging to her and a guest.

The man said Lacey attacked him with a two-pound hammer and struck him several times in the head and body, breaking his glasses and causing injuries to his back and arm. Witnesses at the scene confirmed the man’s account, the affidavit says.

Video surveillance also recorded the incident and appears to show Lacey “as the primary physical aggressor and using the hammer to attack (the man,)” the affidavit says.

The man said he had been in a 12-year relationship with Lacey and they lived together at one time.

To view the official opinion document, click here.

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