IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge ordered probation Wednesday for a well-known Iowa businessman with deep ties to the Republican Party, saying he failed to show genuine remorse for assaulting a woman at his home last year.
Judge Michael Huppert rejected a request by David Greenspon for a deferred judgment in the assault, which occurred at Greenspon’s West Des Moines mansion last November.
Instead, he said that Greenspon would be convicted of assault with intent to inflict serious injury, and the aggravated misdemeanor would stay on his record even if he successfully completes his one-year probation term.
Greenspon, 63, is the owner of Des Moines-based Competitive Edge, which has long provided Republican candidates at all levels with yard signs and other marketing materials.
Greenspon donated $15,000 to Trump Victory, a group supporting President Trump’s re-election campaign, in February. He has donated to the Iowa Republican Party and candidates like U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, whose campaign has paid Competitive Edge tens of thousands of dollars for work since 2014.
Since April, Greenspon’s company has been awarded no-bid contracts worth $8.5 million from the state of Iowa to supply millions of masks, gowns and goggles to protect health care workers from the coronavirus.
Those deals have drawn scrutiny because the products are not medical grade and are being manufactured in China. Greenspon was once a close ally of former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who is now the U.S. ambassador to China.
A state spokeswoman has said it was unaware that Greenspon was charged with felony assault when the contracts were awarded. Under a plea agreement reached last month, the charge was reduced to an aggravated misdemeanor.
Competitive Edge also received a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program in April, according to data released this week by the federal government. The program’s application said that a felony conviction within the last five years was disqualifying but a pending charge need not be disclosed.
Greenspon said Wednesday that the victim was a longtime friend who was heavily intoxicated, taunting him and refusing to leave his house. He said that he snapped when she made “anti-semitic remarks” toward him and he kicked her to get her to leave.
He said that he took responsibility for the assault but that he did not intend to hurt her.
“If I could do it all again, I would call the police or I would call an ambulance or take her to a center where she could get some help,” he said. “I was not mature about it."
The woman was arrested for drunken driving after leaving his home and getting into a minor car accident. She did not speak at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing or provide a victim impact statement to the court.
Huppert said that Greenspon did not qualify for a deferred judgment that would wipe the case off his record because he entered an Alford plea, in which he acknowledged he could be convicted but didn’t admit all elements of the crime.
The judge said that Greenspon seemed “to want to have it both ways,” saying the evidence wasn’t consistent with a finding that he didn’t mean to injure the woman. He said Greenspon had “a lack of genuine remorse.”
The woman reported to police that she suffered a broken tooth and rib injuries when she was punched and kicked by Greenspon. She recorded part of the assault on her cell phone.
In addition to probation, Greenspon was ordered to pay the woman’s medical bills, pay a fine and complete an assaultive behavior course.