Former UI wrestler pleads guilty to lesser offenses
One of three former University of Iowa wrestlers facing felony charges for a string of car burglaries in Marion has entered into a plea agreement.
Ross Lembeck, 19, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a misdemeanor and first-offense drunken driving July 23 in Linn County District Court, according to online court records.
Prosecutors, in turn, have dismissed nine counts of third-degree burglary against Lembeck — two felony burglary charges and seven misdemeanors. They also dropped charges for conspiracy to commit a felony and conspiracy to commit an aggravated misdemeanor, as well as a possession of alcohol under the legal age charge, according to online records.
Lembeck was fined $65 for the accessory to a misdemeanor charge. For the drunken driving charge, he was ordered to serve a 48-hour weekend program in lieu of jail time and fined $1,250, according to online records.
Lembeck was a standout wrestler for Linn-Mar and redshirted this past season with the Hawkeyes. Coach Tom Brands dismissed Lembeck and fellow redshirt freshmen Seth Gross and Logan Ryan from the team in May following their arrests in March.
The three student-athletes were picked up in the early hours of March 18 by police after a report of a theft in progress in the Hunters Ridge neighborhood in Marion. Police initially charged the three with alcohol-related offenses, then filed the burglary charges about six weeks later following an investigation into numerous thefts from vehicles that night.
Gross and Ryan also were charged with two counts of felony third-degree burglary, seven counts of misdemeanor third-degree burglary, two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and one count of conspiracy to commit an aggravated misdemeanor.
Gross, 19, of Apple Valley, Minn., pleaded not guilty to those charges June 22, and his trial is scheduled for Sept. 14, according to online records. He also was charged with open container, possession of alcohol under the legal age and interference with official acts.
Ryan, 19, of Bettendorf, pleaded not guilty June 16. His court dates were combined with Gross', and he is also scheduled to stand trial Sept. 14. Ryan was also charged with possession of alcohol under the legal age.
Gross and Ryan were expected to contend for UI starting job at 141 pounds next season before being kicked off the team.
Reach Josh O'Leary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 887-5415, and follow him on Twitter at @JD_OLeary.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that Lembeck pleaded guilty to accessory to a felony. According to online court records, he pleaded guilty to accessory to a misdemeanor.