Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping and beating estranged wife

Nathan Brocks
Nathan Brocks

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 28-year-old woman last week said she was angry because her estranged husband wouldn’t “be a man and own up” to what he did to her last year when he broke into her home, waited for her to arrive and then severely beat her.

During a victim impact statement Friday, she told a judge she was “terrified” and didn’t think she was going to live through the three-hour assault Jan. 6, 2019, by Nathan Brocks. But her trauma continues, she said, because Brocks tells other people a different story of what happened that night and won’t take “responsibility” for what he did, she said. She still experiences pain, depression and anxiety from the attack.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Kevin McKeever sentenced Nathan Brocks, 38, of Cedar Rapids, to 40 years in prison. Brocks was convicted by jury in October on charges of first-degree burglary, third-degree kidnapping, assault causing bodily injury (domestic assault) and obstruction of emergency communications.

Brocks was charged as a habitual felon and faced up to 55 years in prison because of enhancement penalties.

During sentencing, Brocks apologized to the woman, saying he “wished things” would have worked out differently. He admitted to having anger issues and taking his anger out on people.   

McKeever ran the kidnapping and assault sentences concurrently to each other and consecutively to the burglary for a total of 40 years.   

Evidence at trial showed Brocks and the woman hadn’t been together for at least two years before he showed up at her apartment Jan. 6.

She had been out with friends, and Brocks was waiting for her. He had broken the sliding glass door of her apartment in northeast Cedar Rapids and gone inside, rifling through drawers and knocking over furniture, before she arrived.

The woman testified that Brocks came up to her vehicle before she got out and started punching her in the face. He hit her about 15 times, grabbed her and pulled her out of the vehicle, causing her to fall to the ground, where he kicked her in the face, she said.

Brocks then dragged her by her hair through the broken glass from the door and continued to beat her for about three hours, according to testimony. The woman was in and out of consciousness and said she did not know exactly how long the beating lasted.

Evidence showed the woman had two black eyes, a shattered nose, swollen and bruised cheekbones and jaw, a concussion, bruising on her neck and scratches on her back.

The woman said Brocks wouldn’t let her go and wouldn’t leave the apartment, threatening to kill her the entire time.

At some point, she got away and remembered there was can of “bear Mace” on top of her refrigerator that a friend had given her because he was worried about Brocks harming her.

She ran out of the apartment, screaming for help and knocking on doors of other tenants, but nobody answered, according to testimony.

When Brocks realized nobody heard her, he “charged” her, and she sprayed him with the Mace — using half the can.

The woman made it outside, where neighbors found her lying in the parking lot and called 911.

When police arrived, Brocks was in the apartment and wouldn’t let them inside, according to testimony. A standoff ended after police threatened to release a K-9 dog inside.

Court records show Brocks has been convicted multiple times for domestic assault against his estranged wife and had been released from prison Jan. 3, three days before he attacked her, which the jury wasn’t allowed to know.

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