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Plea change hearing set for former UNI student from Mason City accused of extortion

CEDAR FALLS — A plea change hearing has been scheduled for a former University of Northern Iowa student from Mason City accused of attempting to extort sex from a woman. 19-year-old Christian Gossweiler was arrested in late August on one count of extortion, a Class D felony.

Authorities say the woman had sent Gossweiler videos and nude photos via a social media app, with Gossweiler then demanding she send more photos and videos or he would post online the material he already had. Gossweiler is accused of telling the woman that if she had sex with him, he would stop demanding photos and videos.

The woman made a report to the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, which forwarded the complaint to the UNI Police. Investigators then posed as the woman in communicating with Gossweiler and set up a time and place to meet on campus for sex, with Gossweiler being arrested at that location.

Gossweiler’s trial was scheduled to start on Tuesday, but online court records show that a Black Hawk County judge approved an order on Tuesday setting a plea change hearing for May 6th.

Gossweiler had already been sentenced to two years probation and a suspended five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in Story County after authorities said he targeted an Iowa State University student he met online. Court records in that case say she sent him a nude photo and he later threatened to show the photo to her friends and family if she didn’t do what he wanted or blocked him on social media.

Gossweiler was also charged with extortion in Scott County, accused of using threats to collect more photos from the woman involved in the Black Hawk County case.

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