CLARION - A judge ruled Wednesday that charges alleging a man let his girlfriend abuse his children won't be dismissed, and prosecution will continue.
Robert M. Valentine Jr., 29, of Eagle Grove, has been charged with child endangerment causing death and child endangerment causing injury.
Wright County Magistrate William Long sent Valentine's case to District Court, and set his bond at $20,000.
Valentine is alleged to have allowed his girlfriend at the time, Kara Crapser, to abuse two of his children, Mikayla Valentine, 5; and Robert Valentine III, 9.
Mikayla Valentine died on Jan. 8, 2011, from injuries that were caused by Crapser.
Crapser pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April and is now serving 50 years in prison. She is not the mother of either of the children named in the criminal complaint.
At Valentine's preliminary hearing Wednesday, Wright County Attorney Eric Simonson was able to show probable cause as to why the charges should continue.
Simonson called to the stand Special Agent Ray Fiedler, of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, to explain why charges were filed.
Fiedler said that during interviews conducted by law enforcement several witnesses testified that they told Valentine Crapser was abusing his children, but he did nothing.
One of those witnesses was Robert Valentine III.
"He said that Kara frequently hit him," Fiedler said during the hearing. "He said that she threw him over the baby gate and broke his arm, and he said that his father had witnessed the abuse."
Fiedler also testified that Mikayla Valentine was afraid of Crapser, and that she had bruises that her father would have seen.
"The defendant acknowledged to his son that he hadn't done enough to protect his kids," Fiedler said.
Valentine's attorney, Charles Kenville, of Fort Dodge, tried to argue that the charges against his client should be dismissed.
"He testified that the time frame of abuse happened in October of 2010 and May of 2009," he said, regarding Fiedler's testimony. "The most recent abuse happened a year prior to this incident."
Kenville also argued charges should be dismissed because Valentine was not at home the day Crapser caused the injuries to Mikayla Valentine that led to her death.
"Half of what he (Fiedler) testified to were her (Crapser's) actions," Kenville said.
Simonson told the judge that there was cause for prosecution to continue.
"His permitting the ongoing physical abuse by Kara Crapser resulted in the death of Mikayla Valentine," he said.
He added Robert Valentine III also suffered abuse from Crapser.
"The ongoing physical abuse has led to a child exhibiting a disabling mental injury," he said, though the specific injury was not discussed.
Long agreed with Simonson's evidence.
"It's very probable that the series of abuse and series of events would cause death and severe mental problems," he said.
In addition to his ruling, Long also stipulated that if Valentine were to post bond he would be required to sign up for pre-trial release with the Iowa Department of Corrections.
No date has been set for Valentine's arraignment.