ANKENY, Iowa – A well-known Ankeny activist who protested mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic and even filed a lawsuit against the Ankeny School District over the matter has been arrested on charges she made false claims of abuse to DHS about a former business partner’s family.

Kimberly Reicks, 39, was booked into the Polk County Jail just after 3:00 Friday morning. She is charged with one count of false report of indictable offense to public entity, two counts of child abuse-false report, and four counts of harassment.

Court records show the charges stem from reports Reicks anonymously made to the Iowa Department of Human Services about the family of Emily Peterson, who is Reicks’ ex-business partner. Both women represented themselves as “Iowa Mama Bears” and gained strong online followings while fighting against mask mandates and vaccines. They both appeared with Gov. Kim Reynolds at the signing of her bill that banned mask mandates in May of 2021.

Criminal complaints in the matter said Reicks made an anonymous call to DHS on August 8th, claiming one of Peterson’s children had sexually assaulted a sibling. DHS investigated and deemed the allegations were false. Ankeny police followed up on the case and subpoenaed information about the call because it had been left anonymously. The investigation found another call to DHS had been made from the same number in May, claiming Peterson’s husband was watching his daughter change. That call was also made anonymously. The complaint said DHS rejected that report.

Investigators said the first call to DHS was made shortly after Peterson ended her business relationship with Reicks, “causing her to be very upset.”

Reicks initially denied calling DHS, but the complaint said when confronted with audio recordings she admitted to it. She told investigators her daughter informed her of the alleged abuse after Peterson’s daughter confided in her. Police said the story Reicks told DHS did not match up with what her daughter told investigators.

The complaints said Reicks is a mandatory reporter and knows the rules regarding reporting allegations. It also said, “The Defendant knew the information she reported was false, and was trying to harass the family.”

A judge has issued a no-contact order prohibiting Reicks from contacting Peterson or her family. She has waived her preliminary hearing and is scheduled to be arraigned on November 21.