Chủ Nhật, 9 tháng 2, 2014


Original Article

Stringer appeals the court's denial of his application to remove the requirement that he complete sex offender treatment as a condition of his probation. Stringer pled guilty to prostitution, in violation of Iowa Code section 725.1 (2011), following a police sting operation where Stringer offered an undercover police officer $40 for sex. He was sentenced to 365 days in jail, that sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation for two years. Stringer contends the crime of prostitution is not a sex offense under section 692A.102, and his criminal history does not justify the imposition of sex offender treatment as a condition of his probation.

The State did not file a resistance to Stringer's application, and it does not appear that it offered any evidence in support of the sex-offender-treatment condition at the unreported hearing. The district court denied the application finding sex offender treatment "will promote rehabilitation of the defendant or the protection of the community" and is "reasonably related to the offense involved." The court went on to say that "[w]hile prostitution is not classified as a sexually violent offense under Iowa law, it is sexual in nature. Further, defendant does have a false imprisonment conviction stemming from a sexual encounter. In addition, defendant's psychological evaluation describes a number of other prostitution-related encounters." The court concluded by finding a nexus between the present conviction and the sex offender treatment as a condition of probation.

"[T]rial courts have a broad discretion in probation matters which will be interfered with only upon a finding of abuse of that discretion." State v. Valin, 724 N.W.2d 440, 444 (Iowa 2006). "`[O]ur task on appeal is not to second-guess the decision made by the district court but to determine if it was unreasonable or based on untenable grounds.'" Id. at 445 (quoting State v. Formaro, 638 N.W.2d 720, 725 (Iowa 2002)). We will find an abuse of discretion "when `there is no support for the decision in the . . . evidence.'" Id. (quoting Rath v. Sholty, 199 N.W.2d 333, 336 (Iowa 1972)).

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