PRIMGHAR, Iowa -- A Northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and domestic abuse assault, charges stemming from two separate incidents involving an ex-girlfriend.
Justin Banta, 38, who has both Archer and Larrabee addresses in court documents, entered his written plea Monday in O'Brien County District Court to charges of third-degree kidnapping, domestic abuse assault and violation of a no-contact order.
According to court documents, Banta forced the woman into his car on May 3 in Hartley, Iowa, and refused to let her get out before driving away and physically assaulting her in the car. O'Brien County authorities said an Iowa State Trooper later located the suspect vehicle, a 2011 Audi, on U.S. Highway 59 south of Calumet. The woman was recovered and Banta was taken into custody.
Banta is accused of violating a protection order by entering the woman's home on May 7 in Archer and having a physical altercation with her before holding a butcher knife to her neck and refusing to let her leave.
Banta also is charged with calling the woman several times on May 21 and leaving a voice message, all in violation of a no-contact order.