Case History

Review: Who Is Jordan?

On this page we are attempting to chronologically summarize the trial, appeal, and current status of Jordan’s case.

Here’s a quick summary:

2000: Jordan graduated from Northfield High School in Minnesota with a 3.86 GPA and accepted a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa.

2001: After redshirting and maintaining a 4.0 average at UNI he transferred to Bethel College for the fall sememster to play football with his brother and friends.

2002: After a successful football season, Jordan transferred back to UNI to wrestle and continue his biomedical major.
- May: won another Greco-Roman wrestling national championship at the University National Championships in Evanston, IL, and eventually wrestled at “Worlds” for the US Greco-Roman Team in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
- September: Jordan was accused of performing nonconsensual oral sex on a woman at a college party in Iowa City.
- The rest of the year: sworn to silence (from discussing anything with anyone, including his family) by his lawyer (whom he was referred to by UNI staff), he continued his life as if nothing happened.

2003: Continued to excel in school and wrestling and ran for student body president (he eventually pulled his campaign due to UNI staff pressure but still managed to receive 42% of the votes).
- July: Bench trial (no jury, just a judge, the Honorable Denver D. Dillard) in Johnson County, IA. Witnesses included people who attended the party, and leading DNA expert, Dr. Robert Benjamin.
- August: Jordan was found guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree by Hon. Denver Dillard. The judge basically disregarded the DNA evidence and based his decision on believability and credibility. However, no character evidence was presented on Jordan’s behalf during trial.
- More facts to consider:

  • The DNA evidence is conclusive to show the alleged assault did not occur.
  • There were no eye witnesses to anything criminal.
  • It was introduced into evidence that the accuser’s nickname in high school was “Schemin’ Demon.” This was further explained to have been acquired because “basically all of [her boyfriend's] friends didn’t trust her.” (Transcript 229)
  • Jordan’s nicknames in high school were “Champ” and “Homer.”
  • The woman was thrown out of a bar earlier that same day for causing a scene and throwing punches at her boyfriend. She was upset because her boyfriend hadn’t become jealous of her open flirting with an ex-boyfriend who was also at the bar. Her boyfriend was allowed to stay. (Transcript 26-27, 222-224)
  • His accuser testified that no one believed her. (Transcript 38)

During the verdict the judge concluded that:
“No evidence was presented which placed serious doubt on the truthfulness of [the accuser's] testimony. Without a firm reason to believe the [the accuser] was lying or had been dreaming, the verdict in this case cannot be not guilty.” (Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Verdict 15)
This is a very interesting statement, considering:

  • The woman’s own boyfriend, who was in bed right next to her when she alleged to have been assaulted, did not believe her. He shared this view at the party, he reported it to police, and he testified to it in court. (Transcript 59, 139) This should have spoken volumes about her credibility.
  • It was Jordan’s understanding that he was considered innocent until proven guilty, not that he had to prove she was lying or he would go to prison.
  • Every aspect of the physical facts in the case corroborates Jordan’s explanation of what happened.
  • The DNA expert never waivered from his final analysis. He found the forensic evidence to be “inconsistent with oral sex.” (Transcript 306-307, 331-332, 345-346, 349, 352, 355)
  • The State never provided any explanation for the absence of Jordan’s DNA from all four vaginal swabs that could combat Dr. Benjamin’s explanation of “it was never there.” (Transcript 306) This is true despite the DNA expert extending a clear invitation to the State to try to explain how the absence of Jordan’s DNA from the vaginal area could possibly support the accusation.

- November: at the sentence hearing Judge Dillard told Jordan:
“…it’s very obvious that you’re very intelligent, remarkably mature, considering in comparing to the other people I see in this courtroom. You actually have a bright future before you…I’m not of the opinion that you are a sexual predator, and if i had my choice, you would not be going to prison…I don’t know that you even need very much help, because I view this as something that was done in a moment of weakness and lack of thought that happens hundreds or thousands of times a year in a college community.”
- Then he sentenced Jordan to 10 years in prison.

-December: Jordan was offered early enrollment into a treatment program that upon completion would result in his release after the judge in his case voluntarily submitted a letter to The Iowa Department of Corrections stating his view that Jordan should not be incarcerated. Enrollment in the program would reduce Jordan's total term of incarceration to approximately 18 months. However, adhering to the truth, Jordan would not state that he was guilty, and therefore was denied enrollment into the program.

2004: Parole: denied. Still in prison.

  • Several letters were written to the Parole Board from family, friends, experts, former teachers, and acquaintances.

2005:

  • -April: After 16 months of incarceration at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility and Treatment Center, prison officials were convinced that Jordan would not elect to enroll into a program that required he state he was guilty in order to receive early release. So he was transferred from the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility to the Anamosa State Penitentiary, a maximum security prison. The offer for Jordan to enroll into the program remained on the table throughout Jordan's extended term of incarceration.

2006: Opted for new representation, Kent A. Simmons, and began to build the case for a new trial.

2007: Served time in Anamosa State Penitentiary. Habeas Corpus (post-conviction relief): pending.

2008: Original early release date with “good time”: March 20, 2008.

2009: Still in prison. In 2006 The Iowa Department of Corrections began to implement a new policy that all inmates who do not enroll in their treatment programs lose their good conduct time. Jordan was already faced with serving the full term of his sentence because he maintains his innocence, and therefore was not allowed to enroll into the Sex Offender Treatment Program that would provide him with an early release. With implementation of this new policy, and the subsequent loss of good time, two more years were added to the original maximum term that Jordan could be kept incarcerated, bringing his total term of incarceration to nearly seven years. Jordan appealed this additional punishment based (essentially) on the fact that this law was retroactively applied. This goes against "no law shall be made ex post facto." [Jordan was sentenced in 2003. The policy affecting his sentence was written in 2006.]

2010: Jordan was released on April 25th.

Currently: Post conviction relief including new trial pending

Action: Be the Jury in the Court of Public Opinion