Sioux Center Man Sentenced for Assault With Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse

A Sioux Center man who was facing a felony charge of sexual abuse, has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

47-year-old Onofre Bernardo Mendez pleaded guilty Monday as part of a plea agreement to Assault With Intent To Commit Sex Abuse, an Aggravated Misdemeanor that was amended from a felony charge of third-degree sexual abuse.  A charge of tampering with a witness was dismissed.

The case arose on February second when the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about a sexual abuse assault that took place about a mile southeast of Sioux Center.  Further investigation revealed that Bernardo Mendez served as the victim’s employment supervisor and began giving the victim rides home on days he had the victim stay late.  On one occasion, Bernardo Mendez used force to sexually assault the victim.  The victim did not consent to the sex act.  During the investigation, Bernardo Mendez offered cash to the victim intending to persuade them not to cooperate with authorities.

In Sioux County District Court Wednesday, Mendez was sentenced to 25 days in the Sioux County Jail, after which he will be returned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for removal proceedings from the United States.  As required by law, Bernardo Mendez was further ordered to register as a sex offender for life be supervised for a period of 10 years as if on parole, pay a variety of criminal fines and surcharges.  The Court further ordered Bernardo Mendez to have no contact with the victim for the next five years.