DES MOINES, Iowa -- The second of two white men who brutally beat a Black man during what the victim said was a racist attack has been sentenced to probation.
Jesse James Downs, 29, was sentenced Wednesday to a year of probation after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, the Des Moines Register reported. A judge also ordered Downs to complete 150 hours of community service.
An accomplice, 29-year-old Dale Lee Millard, was sentenced to three years of probation in March after he entered an Alford plea to a count of willful injury.
The pleas came in the May 2020 attack on 23-year-old DarQuan Jones, who said the two men attacked him and shouted racial slurs at him after he knocked on his girlfriend’s door in Des Moines.
Jones said the men also dragged him to a nearby creek and held his head underwater. Jones said the attack only ended after two women who heard his screams intervened. The attack left him with broken bones in his face and wrist and required 10 stitches. He said his medical bills topped $10,000.
Jones told the Register after the attack that he thought the men were going to kill him.
“When they started dragging me to the creek, I thought it was over for me,” he said.
The NAACP of Des Moines said the day after the assault that the attack should be considered a hate crime. Des Moines police said at the time that investigators believed race played a role in the attack, but that there was no evidence to establish race as the primary motive, which is a requirement to file a hate crime charge in Iowa.