Niota man pleads guilty in felony sexual assault case


CARTHAGE – Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger reported last week the conviction and sentencing of Robert L. Dowell, age 43, of Niota.

Dowell plead guilty on Tuesday to one count of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, a Class X Felony. Dowell was sentenced to forty-five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with a mandatory service of just more than 38 years.

In September of 2019, an investigation was conducted by the Hancock County Sheriffs Office in cooperation with the Lee County, IA Sheriffs Office, and Des Moines County, IA Sheriffs Office which resulted in charges filed against Dowell in both Iowa and Illinois. Hancock County State’s Attorney Rachel Mast prosecuted the case in Illinois.

Dowell is currently serving a sentence in the Iowa Department of Corrections in relation to this same investigation.

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