Simpson student charged with second-degree harassment

by Ashley Smith, Editor-in-Chief

A Simpson student was arrested Oct. 2 on three charges of second-degree harassment at 100 E. Detroit Ave., Apt. 101, according to an Indianola police report.

Officers said Ciera Bolden, 26, was arrested after sending her roommates harassing emails, Facebook posts and verbal threats to commit bodily injury.

The roommates said they did not feel safe with Bolden in the apartment and an informal no contact order from Simpson was put in place Sept. 16.

The order stated Bolden “was to not to have contact of any kind, even third party,” with the three roommates, according to the report.

Simpson also gave Bolden an informal eviction notice, requiring her to vacate the apartment by midnight Oct. 1. The roommates were advised by the Indianola Police Department to contact them if Bolden didn’t comply.

After these measures were put in place, Bolden sent an email to Area Coordinator Tayler Keitzer saying, “I’m going to straight fuck (one of her roommates) up! Tell them that!”

“This clearly shows the disregard Ciera has for the informal No Contact Order,” Officer Mesha Wagner said in her report.

On Oct. 2, the roommates requested a no contact order from the Indianola Police Department that was “more official than the one Simpson put in place on campus,” after Bolden refused to leave the apartment.

Indianola police arrested Bolden in her apartment Oct. 2, took her into custody and charged her.

“Throughout my contact with Ciera, she was very argumentative, failed to comply with orders repeatedly and called officers racist Trump supporters,” Officer Brad Metcalf said in his report.

Bolden said she felt discriminated against throughout the judicial process with Simpson and her arrest.

“I don’t feel supported by Simpson College, and the situation has been so one-sided that I have to question whether Simpson is serious about fairness concerning all individuals who attend the college,” Bolden said.

She said she felt she was treated unfairly because of her race.

“I know for a fact I have been treated differently than (my roommates) have been treated throughout this whole process. The only conclusion I am lead to believe that this is a part of, although I’m certain that there are several other variables, is because of my race,” Bolden said.

Simpson is dedicated to providing a safe campus for all of its students and employees, Dean of Students Luke Behaunek said in an email to The Simpsonian.

“Simpson is also dedicated to treating each of its students in an equitable manner. As part of our mission statement says, the college is committed to ‘nurturing values which foster personal worth and individuality within a creative, diverse and just community,’” Behaunek said.

He said it is rare but not unprecedented that a roommate situation results in an arrest made by the IPD.

“In any event in which that’s the case, we seek to listen to all sides before working toward a lasting resolution,” Behaunek said.

In a Facebook message to The Simpsonian, the roommates said they were impressed with how Simpson handled the situation.

Iowa Code 708.7 states “a person commits harassment in the second degree when the person commits harassment involving a threat to commit bodily injury.”

Second-degree harassment is a serious misdemeanor.