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Bettendorf attorney charged with sex abuse, prostitution

Bettendorf attorney charged with sex abuse, prostitution

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A Bettendorf attorney turned himself in this week after police say he exposed himself to a female client and placed her hand, without her permission, on his scrotum to feel an implanted medical device in January.

Police also say Stephen Warren Newport, 66, called the woman later that day and indicated that in lieu of payment for his legal services, she could give him oral sex or undress in front of him, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Scott County District Court.

Newport, last known address in the 5600 block of Kerrs Lane, faces charges of third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony, prostitution, an aggravated misdemeanor, and indecent exposure, a serious misdemeanor.

Court records show that a warrant with a $5,000 cash or surety bond was issued Friday. He turned himself in at the courthouse Monday and appeared in front of Associate Judge Christine Dalton.

Newport waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will be arraigned May 17.

Court records show that Newport was released without having to post bond and Dalton placed him on the highest level of pretrial release supervision, which includes weekly face-to-face contact, curfew, home visits, and electronic monitoring if deemed appropriate.

Newport could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

According to the arrest affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint:

On Jan. 19, a woman went to Newport’s law office at 2117 State St., Bettendorf, to discuss a civil case in which he was representing her.

While she was in his private office with the door locked, Newport exposed himself to her after talking about an implanted device in his scrotum.

He took her hand, without permission, and placed it on his scrotum to feel the implanted device and fondled himself at the same time. 

She pulled her hand away and quickly gathered her things to leave the office.

Later that day, Newport called the woman about her case and indicated that in lieu of payment for his legal services, she could give him oral sex or undress in front of him.

On Feb. 7, she made a recorded phone call via speaker phone to Newport in front of a Bettendorf police officer. During the call, Newport made statements confirming the woman’s statement in regard to Newport requesting oral sex in lieu of payment for his legal services.

On March 14, a search warrant was served on Newport for photographs to be taken of his office and his body.

The photos taken showed that his office was laid out as the woman described.

Newport, in an interview with police that same day, denied the woman’s allegations and said he did not know how she would have known about his implanted device. When asked about his statements on the recorded phone call, Newport said he was just asking her a question about what she was talking about when she brought up payment options and sexual favors, according to the affidavit.

On Monday, Scott County Attorney Mike Walton filed an application for the appointment of a special prosecutor from the Iowa Attorney General's Office. The request was granted Tuesday by Judge Mark Lawson. 

Walton said Wednesday that Newport has practiced in criminal court in Scott County for many years "so we want to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interested."

He added that his office has not been involved in the investigation, charging decisions or arrest of Newport.

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