State of Iowa vs. Henry Woltersdorf

On May 21, 1935, Henry Woltersdorf, age 31 of Everly, Iowa was charged with the alleged crime of Rape to a female child under the age of sixteen years.


Events of the Crime

On May 20, 1935, sometime after 6 o'clock pm, Henry Woltersdorf drove out to the Henry Thee farm and told a 14 year old female that he had come out there to take her to her sister's house.  The victim went with Woltersdorf in his 1935 Plymouth.  Woltersdorf started drinking soon thereafter and would not take the victim to her sister's house or back home.  Later in the evening, Woltersdorf made several advances towards the victim, but the victim refused to cooperate.  Sometime after 2:00 o'clock am Woltersdorf stopped the vehicle at a school house about a half mile from the Henry Thee farm.  Again Woltersdorf tried to make sexual advances towards the victim yet she refused.  Woltersdorf then pulled the victim out of the vehicle and into the ditch where he struck her several times in the face, twisted her arms behind her back and raped her.  Woltersdorf choked the victim and told her if she ever told anyone about this he would kill her.  Woltersdorf then returned the victim to the Henry Thee farm around 5 o'clock am.


Evidence Before Grand Jury

On May 21, 1935, Dr. Winkler and Dr. Hand examined the fourteen year old female.  They found the females jaw to be quite swollen, her left shoulder showed signs of teeth marks and her arms had many bruises and swollen places and black and blue spots were evident.  A great amount of traumatism and swelling of the external gentalia were evident.  The female was quite unable to walk with out considerable distress.  Dr. Winkler and Dr. Hand came to the conclusion that the female was raped based on the history she gave them, and because her body, especially her genitals had all the marks of having been violently assaulted.



On May 25, 1935, Henry Woltersdorf pled guilty to the crime of Statutory Rape of a female child under the age of sixteen years.  The Defendant was sentenced to imprisonment in the State Penitentiary at Fort Madison, Iowa for a term of 40 years or until discharged as provided by law.

Henry Woltersdorf was paroled by the Iowa Board of Parole on February 5th, 1945.


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