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Reexamination of evidence leads to conviction in 2003 case

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has been convicted in the 2003 sexual assaults of two teenagers after he was linked to the crime through a re-examination of old laboratory evidence.

The U.S. attorney’s office announced Friday in a news release that 43-year-old Myron Lee Brandon, of Pacific Junction, Iowa, was found guilty this week of two counts of kidnapping and two counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The release said that Brandon met the 14- and 15-year-old girls in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, and offered them a ride to a location in the city. But he instead drove them to a rural road outside Pacific Junction, where he burned them with a cigarette and sexually assaulted them at knifepoint.

The teens escaped and walked to Interstate 29 where they were picked up by a motorist and taken to safety, the release said.

Law enforcement was not able to identify a suspect at the time, but evidence that was collected during medical exams was put into storage. The evidence then was re-examined through a Sex Assault Kit Initiative program that the Iowa Attorney General’s Office created in 2015.

Sentencing for Brandon is set for March 2 in Council Bluffs.