In Iowa, Sexual Exploitation by a Teacher or School Employee is a crime. The word exploitation is often a misnomer because the sexual acts between the student and teacher can be consensual. However, the statute is designed to protect students, who are considered vulnerable to the authority of their teachers. Consent does matter under the law.
The crime of Sexual Exploitation by a Teacher or School Employee is set out in Iowa Code Section 709.15 . 709.15 defines a school employee as:
- A practitioner as defined in Iowa Code Section 272.1 or a person issued a coaching authorization under Iowa Code Section 272.31(1). (Note: Teacher is encompassed in the definition of school employee).
A student is defined as:
- A person who is currently enrolled in or attending a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, or who was a student enrolled in or who attended a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school within thirty days of any violation,
A teacher or school employee commits Sexual Exploitation by doing the following:
- Engaging in any sexual conduct with a student for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of the school employee or student. Sexual conduct includes but is not limited too:
- Touching of the clothed or unclothed inner thigh, breast, groin, buttock, anus, pubes or genitals.
- A sex act as defined in Iowa Code Section 702.17.
The criminal penalties for committing Sexual Exploitation by a Teacher or School Employee are:
- For those who engage in a pattern, practice or scheme of sexual conduct with a student, the penalty is a Class “D” felony – 5 years in prison.
- For all other violations the penalty is an Aggravated Misdemeanor – 2 years prison.
Moreover, under certain circumstances, teachers and school employees are mandatory reporters as defined in Iowa Code Section 232.69. For mandatory reporters Iowa Code Section 907.3 prohibits deferred sentences, deferred judgments and probation. Thus, in effect, persons convicted of this crime are subject to a mandatory prison sentence if deemed a mandatory reporter. In addition a conviction requires registration on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.
Sexual Exploitation by a Teacher or School Employee is a serious crime with serious consequences. Whether the conduct was consensual or not, the penalties are the same. At Stowers & Sarcone, PLC we have handled many such cases and know how to prepare the case, try the case and negotiate favorable outcomes. If you or a loved one are charged with sexual exploitation call us at 515.224.7446.