A former north Iowa police officer, facing almost a dozen counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, is taking another shot at a change of venue for his trial.
Former Clarksville Police officer Michael Tobin is accused of showing sexually explicit images and videos from a pending criminal case to a minor under 18 between September 2021 and February 2022. After the minor reported the activity in March 2022, Tobin was fired by the City of Clarksville, and he was arrested September 1, 2022.
Tobin has pleaded not guilty to three felony counts and eight aggravated misdemeanor counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Tobin’s trial is currently scheduled to begin October 10th in Butler County District Court.
Back in February, defense counsel filed for a change of venue for his trial citing extensive negative media publicity and his position as a former Clarksville Police officer as factors against finding a fair and impartial jury in Butler County. Prosecutors resisted and, after a hearing on the matter, a judge denied the request.
Thursday (09.14), Tobin’s attorney, Nellie O’Mara, filed a new motion for a change of venue, again citing pretrial media publicity and Tobin’s notoriety in the small community of Clarksville, including her claim that Tobin’s name has come up in most of her criminal cases set in Butler County since the time she was appointed to represent him.
O’Mara’s new change of venue motion also requests the trial be moved to Mitchell County since Tobin has extensive family connections in the area.
Monday (09.18), prosecutors filed to resist the defense’s latest change of venue request on the same grounds they were denied in February, noting the defense claims had not changed significantly since the previous request.
A hearing to consider the defense’s request has now been set for Thursday (09.21).