IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old Iowa man accused of killing his mother and abducting a woman after being released from prison last week underwent treatment as a teenager because he fantasized about raping women and almost acted upon his urges several times, according to a Wisconsin prosecutor.
Kirk Riley Levin once told police that he had duct tape in his backpack because he was planning to use it to rape a girl, and he was caught hiding in the basement of the home of another girl that he'd targeted to rape, Dane County, Wis., prosecutor Corey Stephan said at a hearing in 2009, according to a transcript. A doctor who counseled Levin warned that he would likely try to act on his violent sexual fantasies if he ever went off of unspecified medications, Stephan added.
Stephan was asking a judge to send Levin to prison in a car theft case, citing Levin's increasingly dangerous behavior, which included burglarizing homes, stealing cars and engaging in fantasies involving kidnapping and rape.
"Obviously, if you have somebody who is a potential sex offender saying that they are planning on looking for somebody to tie up and rape, breaking into houses, that is an extremely serious public safety issue," Stephan told the judge.
Levin was back in a courtroom Tuesday, this time in Sac City, Iowa, for an initial appearance on charges alleging that he fatally stabbed his mother Thursday at her farmhouse in Early. Investigators say that hours later he abducted and attempted to sexually assault a 21-year-old female acquaintance, who was eventually able to escape after a car accident.
A judge set bond at $1 million after Sac County Attorney Ben Smith noted that Levin had been in prison or on parole since age 17 and was facing disturbing allegations. Levin did not enter a plea, and the supervisor of the public defender's office appointed to represent him Tuesday declined to comment.
Levin’s run-ins with the legal system were troubling to his mother, who loved him deeply, Sherrie Malmborg, an aunt of Schmitt’s, told The World-Herald on Tuesday.
Schmitt would drive across the state to the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, where Levin was imprisoned, about once a month to visit him.
“She loved him to death. She was really looking forward to helping him build a new life and get a job,” Malmborg said. “She was so excited that he was getting out.”
She said she did not know what might have triggered the events of last Thursday morning.
Despite Levin’s past, Iowa Department of Corrections officials say they were powerless to keep him behind bars or put him under supervision because his prison term for a burglary ended Jan. 1. Levin had served 26 months of a five-year prison term, but that was enough to complete his sentence under an Iowa law that routinely cuts prison terms by more than half. A judge also gave Levin credit toward his Iowa term while he was incarcerated in Wisconsin for violating his parole on a car theft case.
“The sentence ended, and we had to open up the door,” said Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta.
Levin left the Mount Pleasant prison Jan. 1 with Schmitt, and returned to her farmhouse in Early, which is about 110 miles northeast of Omaha. Two days later, prosecutors say, he repeatedly stabbed his mother.
He then went to the home of a woman he knew 15 miles away in Storm Lake, telling her that his car had broken down and he needed a ride.
After they drove to Schmitt’s house, investigators say Levin took the woman to a barn, tied her up with a rope, put her in a car trunk, and then took her out and put her in the back seat. While driving away, his car skidded on ice and went into a ditch. When a neighbor, Gary Schramm, stopped to offer help, the woman got away unharmed and Levin fled.
Deputies found him hiding in a barn on the property. Later, they found his mother’s body while searching her home.
A complaint charging Levin with first-degree murder says he admitted “that he choked his mother and that he had to have killed her.”
During the 2009 car theft hearing, Stephan, the Wisconsin prosecutor, said Levin was also interested in using pills and herbs to put women to sleep and was seeking information about making a soundproof room “in order to facilitate a rape against somebody else.”
“He admits to drugging a girl with Benadryl for the first time and then trying to drug her with alcohol a second time,” he said. “And when asked, ‘What would you do if she drank it and it worked,’ meaning it put her to sleep, ‘Would you have gone through with raping her,’ his answer was yes.”
World-Herald staff writer Andrew J. Nelson contributed to this report.
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