A kidnapping charge against an Oskaloosa man was dropped late Wednesday afternoon when the judge in the case ruled there was not enough evidence to substantiate it.

Brent Eugene Goemaat, 36, of Oskaloosa, was charged with first-degree kidnapping and willful injury after Oskaloosa Police officers responded to the 300 block of North First Street, on Oct. 27. When they arrived, they found a female victim who was seriously injured.

A police officer who testified in court Wednesday said he observed lacerations to her head, numerous bruises and puncture wounds on one of the victim’s legs and on her shoulder. The officer testified that doctors at Mahaska Hospital told them that some of the injuries were 10 to 12 hours old, while other wounds were fresh. Mahaska County Attorney Charles Stream, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the state, asked the officer if the victim was coherent yet, to which the officer told the court that she was not to his knowledge.

After seeing the victim, the officer then testified that he and another officer went to the victim’s home where they made contact with a man, later identified as Brent Goemaat. When they entered the residence, officers noticed furniture strewn about, the testifying officer told the court. The officer said Goemaat had told him at the residence he and the victim had had a “scuffle” that had gone on for some time. The other officer at the home then read Goemaat his Miranda Rights. The testifying officer then questioned the suspect again at the Mahaska County Jail where he was told again that Goemaat and the victim had an argument that lasted for several hours.

The officer said that Goemaat told him that he and the victim “went back and forth at each other and that he ‘just snapped.’”

Officers then obtained a search warrant for the residence, where they discovered blood throughout the home. Officers also seized a table leg believed to a weapon in the assault.

The officer also testified they observed a Lazy Boy-type recliner in front of one of the doors entering the residence and several piles of laundry in front of the other door of the home. The officer told the court that entry way came into a laundry room.

According to the testifying officer, several broken doors were found throughout the home. When asked if there were any injuries to Goemaat, the officer told the court that the defendant was observed to have a swollen hand and several scratches on his forearms.

Goemaat’s attorney, John Billingsley, of Newton, asked if the victim had named another assailant in the case, to which the officer testified that she had. Billingsley also asked if neighbors in the area had told officers that the victim had come to them before in similar situations, to which the officer again testified she had. When asked whether the officers had a record of another such incident, the officer was unable to find a calls-for-service report.

In his closing statements, Billingsley told the court that he believes the evidence supports the willful injury charge, but not the kidnapping charge.

“It would appear to be a gruesome act of domestic violence,” Billingsley said.

Stream, in his closing statements, told the magistrate that he believed from the admission from the defendant and the wounds on the victim that she was trying to escape the home, but was unable.

Mahaska County Magistrate Judge Scott Campbell said there was “no showing of any restraint” in the case. However, he did not feel the state proved that a kidnapping had occurred, and set the bond at $25,000 cash or surety. The judge also ordered that a no-contact order should remain in place, but made provision that if Goemaat is able to make bond, he will be allowed to make one trip into the home to retrieve personal effects, but must turn over any keys or other means of access to the home over to an accompanying officer.

No further court dates have been set in the case at this time.

Herald Assistant Editor Eric Coop can be reached by email at coop@oskyherald.com

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