DES MOINES, Iowa — Sentencing has been delayed for an Iowa man in a sex abuse case involving a mentally disabled woman.

Sentencing for 18-year-old Nicholas Fifield is now set for Nov. 21.

A criminal complaint says the woman, then 18, claimed Fifield engaged in an uninvited sex act in December, but police reports show she later claimed she didn’t resist his actions. Fifield was 17 and a student at Valley High School in West Des Moines when he took the woman on a date.

He entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor assault, which means he maintains innocence but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence for conviction.

Fifield’s family released a doctor’s letter Friday indicating he’s been treated since birth for an Autistic Spectrum Disorder which causes him to struggle with social cues and interaction.

This story has been corrected to show that Fifield entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor assault, not sexual assault.

VIAThe Associated Press
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