Bond amount increased

Poldervaart’s preliminary hearing, bond review set for next week

FORT DODGE – A former Fort Dodge Senior High assistant swim coach accused of sexually assaulting a student was taken back to jail Wednesday morning after a judge ordered his bond amount to be raised.

Aaron Poldervaart, 22, of Fort Dodge, is charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee.

The victim has only been identified as a 14- or 15-year-old child.

He was initially held on a $25,000 cash bond, which was posted prior to his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court Wednesday morning.

Prior to Poldervaart’s initial appearance, Ryan Baldridge, first assistant Webster County attorney, asked Magistrate William Habhab to increase the defendant’s bond amount.

The reasons for the increased bond were for the protection of the victim, as well as keeping the community safe, Baldridge said.

In his statement, Baldridge said that Poldervaart is accused of choking the teenager before committing a sexual assault.

“From a legal and human decency standpoint, it doesn’t get any worse than that, your honor,” Baldridge said.

He went on to say that Poldervaart has allegedly harassed the victim and was “begging for continued sex acts,” according to Baldridge.

Poldervaart’s attorney, Derek Johnson, of Fort Dodge, asked Habhab to continue the bond as posted.

He said his client has been aware of the ongoing investigation for several weeks and has never fled or tried to flee.

“He’s here, prepared to face the charges,” Johnson said.

He added that Poldervaart lives in town with his family and has no criminal record.

Johnson suggested that the bond continue, with the additional requirement that Poldervaart sign up for pre-trial supervision with the Department of Correctional Services.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Habhab agreed with Baldridge and raised Poldervaart’s bond amount to $50,000 cash.

“The allegations set forth in the complaint are disturbing,” Habhab said.

He did add that, should Poldervaart post bond, he will have to sign up for pre-trial supervision with the Department of Correctional Services.

He also ordered Poldervaart to stay away from not only the victim he’s accused of sexually assaulting, but also any juvenile.

Poldervaart’s preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 3.

A bond review was also scheduled alongside the hearing.

Poldervaart served as an assistant boys and girls swim coach during the 2015-16 season, according to the Fort Dodge Police Department.

Poldervaart also worked as a paraeducator in the FDCSD from Oct. 20, 2014, to Aug. 25, 2015, according to Jennifer Lane, FDCSD director of communications.

He is no longer employed with the Fort Dodge Community School District.

The allegations were first reported to police on Jan. 6. The police worked with the Webster County attorney’s office before criminal charges were filed Tuesday.