MUSCATINE — A Muscatine woman accused of sexually molesting an 8-year-old child on tape and selling the video has pleaded not guilty and demanded her right to a speedy trial. Her trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 18.
Jessica Rochelle Peters, 33, entered the written plea Sept. 13 in Muscatine County District Court, according to court documents. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. Oct. 1. The trial date may be rescheduled at the hearing.
Peters faces charges of second-degree sexual abuse, a Class B felony; incest, a Class D felony; sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class C felony; and purchase or possession of an image of a minor in a sex act, an aggravated misdemeanor. Bail has been set at $50,000.
Peters was arrested after Henry Winchip, 76, of Valparaiso, Ind., was arrested for allegedly paying Peters for photos and videos of the act. He faces felony charges of child exploitation and possession of child pornography.
According to the Indiana filings, on Aug. 12, the child's father told Muscatine police he believed Peters had been sexually abusing the child. Text messages show Peters sent the videos and photos to Winchip in exchange for money on July 23. Peters denied the child in the videos was related to her.
The father told police Peters approached him with Winchip's request for the illicit video and he told her he would not participate. He also told them he found the videos on the phone he shared with Peters.
According to court documents, the child told investigators their father forced them to do the videos and that Peters "fake child molested" them. The father had not been charged. The child said the videos were shot at an apartment and a hotel where they lived in Muscatine, investigators said. The child said their father would sometimes hold the phone to record the videos, and other times Peters would record the videos when they were alone.
Porter County, Ind., police and the FBI served a search warrant on Winchip, who later told police he has known the woman in question for about 15 years, police said. Winchip was aware she is currently in police custody in Iowa and admitted to having paid her for sexual videos for years, police said.