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Julius Imafidon

Other Iowa Exonerations
On October 25, 1999, 20-year-old Amanda Carter, a student at Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, walked into a building on campus. She was confronted by a black man sitting in a cubicle who stood up with his penis exposed and asked if she “had ever seen a big black dick like this.”

Carter screamed and the man ran away.

Within minutes, another student reported that a black man had exposed himself to her in another building on the DMACC campus.

Both women, who were white, said the man who exposed himself spoke clear English and was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

Not long after Carter reported the incident to campus authorities, she left the building where the incident occurred and saw 34-year-old Julius Imafidon in a nearby parking lot. Imafidon was wearing overalls, a hat and a t-shirt. He was also carrying a backpack.

Imafidon, a native of Nigeria who was a registered nurse and a part-time student at the college, was detained briefly. Carter suspected Imafidon was the perpetrator but was unable to make a positive identification, and he was released.

However, several days later, Carter was shown a photographic lineup, and she identified Imafidon. In a separate photographic lineup, the woman who was involved in the other incident also identified Imafidon.

Imafidon was then charged with two counts of indecent exposure and two counts of simple assault. Both charges were misdemeanors.

In May 2000, Imafidon went to trial in Polk County Circuit Court. Carter and the woman in the second incident both identified Imafidon as the man who exposed himself to them. On May 15, 2000, the trial judge declared a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Imafidon went to trial a second time in October 2000. Prior to trial, the prosecution dismissed the charges relating to the second incident and proceeded only on the charges relating to the incident involving Carter.

Imafidon’s defense attorney, Michael Said, filed a motion seeking to present evidence regarding the second incident. The prosecution objected, arguing the second incident was not relevant. The trial judge agreed and barred Said from presenting that evidence.

During cross-examination of Carter, Said asked if the man who exposed himself had an accent. Carter said he did not. Said also questioned Carter about her description of the clothing worn by the man who exposed himself, noting that it was different than the clothing Imafidon was wearing minutes later when she saw him in the parking lot.

Imafidon took the witness stand in his own defense. When Said asked him to identify himself and Imafidon began to speak, the court reporter interrupted and asked him to slow down and repeat what he said—Imafidon’s heavy Nigerian accent was difficult to understand.

On October 5, 2000, the jury convicted Imafidon of indecent exposure and simple assault. He was sentenced to 365 days in jail for indecent exposure and 30 days in jail for simple assault. The sentences were suspended.

Imafidon appealed and in April 2002 the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial. The court ruled that the judge should have allowed the defense to present evidence relating to the second incident since the prosecution had contended that the same man—Imafidon—was involved in both incidents.

The court noted that the clothes Imafidon was wearing when he was initially stopped did not match the description provided by either victim. “This evidence would create more than a mere suspicion that someone other than Imafidon was the assailant in the first incident,” the court said.

On August 20, 2002, the prosecution dismissed the charges against Imafidon.

–Jenna Havig and Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/17/2019
Most Serious Crime:Other Nonviolent Misdemeanor
Additional Convictions:Misdemeanor
Reported Crime Date:1999
Age at the date of reported crime:34
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No