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Mechanic Accused of Trying to Get Woman to Trade Sex for Repairs

A Dubuque mechanic has been accused of trying to pester a woman into trading sex for repair work. 30-year-old Kenneth Hess was arrested Wednesday morning at the Midas on John F. Kennedy Road, where he works. According to court documents, a woman had brought her car in for an exhaust repair late last month. She met with Hess and a manager, who estimated the price of the repair at $400, but said they would give a discount if she paid in cash. She says that when Hess contacted her to say the repair was done, he noted that there was another problem he’d be willing to fix at no extra charge. When the woman went to check on the repair, Hess told her to come back on Sunday when the manager wouldn’t be there. When she dropped the car off on Sunday without meeting Hess, she says he backed out of the offer. She provided police with text messages from Hess where he says he “thought this was a different kind of deal” followed by a text including emoji symbols of an eggplant and a peach. Those are commonly used to indicated sexual activity. Hess has been charged with 3rd Degree Harassment.

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