Football Coach Kevin Twait pled guilty to one count of Tampering with
Records based on his aiding and abetting Thomas Beneke in committing the
false statement of eligibility to the National Junior College Athletic
The three defendants proceeded immediately to sentencing following their
guilty pleas. All of the offenses were aggravated misdemeanors punishable
by incarceration of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5000.
The State of Iowa asked the Court to enter judgments of conviction against
all defendants. The Defendants requested the Court to defer judgment.
The Court imposed probation on all three defendants with conditions that
require financial penalties, community service, pubic apologies, and restrictions
on their job duties. District Court Judge Ronald Schechtman deferred judgment
on all charges.
As part of the agreements reached with all of the defendants, prosecution
of ICCC President Robert Paxton was deferred for a period of one year.
The two pending charges were dismissed without prejudice. If Dr. Paxton
fulfills the conditions of his agreement with the State, the charges will
not be reinstated.
The Division of Criminal Investigation first visited Iowa Central Community
College to look into allegations of falsified records in January, 2001.
In January, 2002, the Webster County Grand Jury issued indictments against
all four ICCC officials -- Dr. Paxton, Mr. Beneke, Mr. Pilcher, and Mr.
Twait. Trial was scheduled to begin next Tuesday, April 2nd. The guilty
pleas today followed several weeks of pre-trial motions and hearings.
The Court dismissed several charges from the indictments prior to the
hearing today. Charges based on the transcripts of one out-of-state witness
were dismissed after the witness refused to make himself available for
testimony. Charges based on the offense of Falsifying a Public Document
were dismissed by the Court after a ruling that the charge did not apply
to officials who have authority to make entries in public documents. Charges
of Public Official Misconduct were dismissed upon motion of the State
as part of the agreements reached with each of the defendants today.
The Grand Jury Indictments last January and the guilty pleas today send
a powerful message to Iowa Central Community College and to the people
of Webster County and the State: