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Sexual predator comment on mailer at issue in lawsuit | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


WATERLOO — Attorneys for a retired police officer and a former mayoral candidate are asking the court to throw out a lawsuit brought by a community leader facing sexual abuse charges.

Jamodd Amaul Sallis, 43, took Cedar Valley Backs the Blue, its chairman Lynn Moller and Margaret Klein to court over a campaign mailing that called Sallis a “sexual predator.”







Sallis


Sallis, a local church youth leader who was appointed to a city committee to re-brand the police department, was arrested in October 2021 on allegations he had sexual contact with an underage girl.

Klein, a City Council member at that time, was running for mayor against incumbent Quentin Hart. Cedar Valley Backs the Blue was a political action group that was supporting Klein, according to court records.

Weeks after Sallis’ arrest, a political ad attacked Hart for Sallis’ pre-arrest appointment.

People are also reading…

“We don’t need a mayor who appoints sexual predators to police advisory boards,” an anti-Hart mass mailer read, according to Sallis’ suit.

CVBB also posted the material to its Facebook page, and comments linked to news articles about Sallis’ arrest, according to the lawsuit.

In his pro-se lawsuit, Sallis said labeling him as a sexual predator was malicious and defamatory because at the time he hadn’t been convicted of sex crimes and was only awaiting trial.







Margaret Klein

Klein


Following the post, Sallis’ home was broken into and, and he suffered psychologically and physically, the suit states.

Sallis is seeking $3.5 million in damages.

In response, Moller’s attorney, Thomas Verhulst, noted that political brochures and ads are protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution.

“The United States Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment allows and maintained political discussion, which can sometimes involve vehement and caustic attacks on government and public officials,” Verhulst wrote.

Klein’s attorney, Alex Grasso, made a similar argument.

Moller’s attorney goes on to argue that Moller isn’t accused of personally making the statements about Sallis. Klein’s attorney said she didn’t issue the statement and she denies any control over the CVBB Facebook page.

Klein lost the November 2021 election. The following month, in December, 2021, authorities filed an additional charge against Sallis for allegedly having sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl.

In April 2023, he was charged with misdemeanor lascivious conduct with a minor for a 2019 incident with a 15-year-old girl. He was convicted of that charge during an August 2023 trial and is awaiting sentencing.

Trials in his other case are tentatively set for October.

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