Protesters call on Johnson County attorney to revisit 2020 sexual assault case

Protesters asked the Johnson County attorney to take a second look at an alleged Phi Gamma Delta sexual assault case from 2020 after three days of protests at the University of Iowa.


Grace Kreber

Protesters stood outside the Johnson County Attorney office on Thursday Sept. 9th 2021. The small group of protesters gathered to show support for Makéna after sexual assault allegations against the University of Iowa’s chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. (Grace Kreber/The Daily Iowan)

Kate Perez, News Reporter

Over a dozen people sat across from the Johnson County Attorney’s Office calling for the Johnson County attorney to revisit the case of an alleged sexual assault from September 2020.

The demonstration came more than a week after allegations of sexual assault by members of Phi Gamma Delta in September 2020 sparked protests against the fraternity in Iowa City.

The group arrived around 3 p.m. Thursday with signs and banners, encouraging others to join as people walked by.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, police received a report of a sexual assault from Makena Solberg, a UI student, that happened at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house at 303 Ellis Ave, according to court documents from September of 2020. Officers executed multiple search warrants to gather evidence during the investigation.

The DI received permission from Solberg to use her name in its reporting.

One of the attendees Thursday was Solberg’s father, Ben Solberg.

“We want the county attorney to see that it’s not just students involved with this,” Solberg told the DI. “There’s a lot more than just the student aspect.”

No charges have been brought against the two FIJI members implicated, though they were investigated by Iowa City police in 2020. Solberg said, however, that the county attorney has taken a second look at the case.

“[The county attorney] has been cooperative with taking a second look at [the case],” he said. “They shut us down the first time, everyone’s heard that. Them taking a second look is them being cooperative, and we’re trying to do the same.”

Solberg said that the family “absolutely” plans to file civil action in the case.

Other attendees included UI sophomore Shannon Stokes, who said she was a regular attendee at the protests against FIJI last week.

“I feel like it’s just pretty disgusting if nothing gets done about this,” Stokes said. “It would make me not want to go to [UI]. I feel this should be an issue that everybody cares about.”

Chris Boyer, who attended the protest Tuesday, said that he wished he could go up and talk to the county attorney.

“What if it was your daughter?” Boyer said. “I have a fifteen-year-old daughter that wants to go here, and [the two defendants] need to be held accountable.”

Facebook Comments