- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An 88-year-old man with previous sex abuse convictions could spend the rest of his life in prison after being accused of grabbing a state mental-hospital worker between the legs.

William Cubbage faces a Nov. 15 hearing to decide whether he’s competent to stand trial, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/2ejNG9J ). Cubbage, who was convicted of numerous sex crimes from 1987 through 2000, is a resident of the state mental hospital at Independence. He gained notoriety after he was accused in 2011 of molesting a 95-year-old woman at a Pomeroy nursing home, where state officials placed him without notifying other residents.

The latest charge against him, first reported by the Storm Lake Times, is assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

The charge accuses Cubbage of grabbing the woman between the legs while she was showering him last January.

“She told him to stop his actions, and he continued to grab her and then laugh about it,” documents filed by prosecutors said.

He could get life in prison if convicted of the misdemeanor because of his previous convictions, which included lewd acts with a child and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He is scheduled for a competency hearing because he reportedly suffers from dementia.

Earlier this year, an Iowa appeals court agreed with a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the family of the woman believed molested at Pomeroy. The appeals court said state officials had no legal obligation to supervise Cubbage after he was released from a state treatment program for the most dangerous sex offenders. The appeals court said state officials also were not required to develop a safety plan for Cubbage once a judge agreed to have him sent to the Pomeroy Care Center.

The lawsuit is now being considered by the Iowa Supreme Court after the family appealed.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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