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That could include a judge, the Iowa Department of Corrections, prosecutors or the defense.
If that were to happen, it’s likely that the defendant’s plea would be rescinded, and the case could essentially be prosecuted anew, Brown said.
There is no way a school employee convicted of sexually exploiting a student can avoid prison under Iowa law, he said.That statute, passed in 1997, states that mandatory reporters who are themselves convicted of sex abuse are not eligible for so-called “deferred” or “suspended” sentences.“How they get by that, I have no idea,” said Nancy Wells, director of the Iowa Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers, a group associated with Iowa health providers that helps provide training and advocacy against abuse.The Register attempted to reach prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys involved in each case it reviewed.He said he largely relies on the recommendations of prosecutors and discussed sentencing options for Kohls with Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond in a parking lot.“Legitimately, I have not studied or looked at that specific statute as to that mandatory versus discretionary reporter,” Neary said.
“Frankly, I don’t think I was probably aware of that distinction or that nuance until probably after that.”In a separate interview, Raymond told the Register he didn’t believe Kohls should be considered a mandatory reporter because the victim was not her direct student.“She was a middle school teacher, and he was a high school honors student. However, Scott Brown, an assistant Iowa attorney general, said the sentencing requirement for mandatory reporters is not predicated on whether the victim is directly under the educator’s supervision.The board's final action can lag months after a conviction, noted Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.