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7 Iowa teachers guilty of sex abuse get no prison time

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Some Iowa teachers convicted of sexually abusing students have been placed on probation rather than sentenced to prison, despite a state law requiring they spend time behind bars, a Des Moines Register investigation has found.

The law, passed in 1997, specifically prohibits anyone who is a “mandatory reporter” of child abuse — such as a teacher, social worker or psychologist — from eligibility for probation.

It was passed to hold educators and others in positions of power and influence over children to higher standards of accountability.

But the Register’s review of such cases over the past five years revealed at least seven instances in which teachers served no prison time after being convicted of sex crimes involving children attending their schools. Some judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys acknowledged the mistakes, which they said resulted from misunderstandings involving the sentencing requirements for such cases.

Legal experts said discovery of the mistakes could prompt courts to set aside the sentencing agreements or retry the cases.

The most recent cases:

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1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That

The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.

9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.

They are protected by New York State laws.

Sign this petition and change that. Protect NY Kids.

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