Hamilton County, Iowa. A 19-year-old Defendant was charged with sexual abuse in the third degree, a Class C Felony, after a sexual encounter with a fifteen and a half year old female. The Defendant faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted. A small gathering was held at the defendant’s home where minors and alcohol were present. Witnesses at the party testified at deposition that the minor female had become very flirtatious with the defendant and began intimate contact with him. The defendant and the minor female engaged in sexual contact outside of the presence of the others at the party.
When the defendant’s father caught them in the act, the female stated that the defendant forced her to have sex with him. An investigation was launched and the defendant was charged with sex abuse in the Third Degree. Iowa state law does not prevent sexual encounters between a fifteen year old minor and an adult, as long as the adult is within four years of the minor’s age.
Thus, since the defendant and female were within four years of each other, the State would have had to prove that the defendant committed the sexual act by force. Depositions were taken of the witnesses at the party and all testimony pointed to one conclusion: that the sexual act was performed with the consent of both parties. The State dismissed the felony charge against the defendant.