Nondisclosure may help Iowa sex offenders avoid jail
DES MOINES (AP) — Some prosecutors say a loophole in Iowa law can allow educators convicted of sexually abusing students to avoid prison time.
An investigation the Des Moines Register conducted last month identified seven cases in the past five years in which teachers convicted of sexual abuse avoided prison time or could seek to have their public record expunged.
Under the law, mandatory reporters, such as teachers and social workers, are required to report child abuse cases to law enforcement. Convicted mandatory reporters aren't eligible for sentences that don't include jail time if the victim is under the age of 18.
Cherokee County attorney Ryan Kolpin says the law doesn't apply if prosecutors forget or decide not to include information showing the defendant is a mandatory reporter in a criminal complaint. Some prosecutors say the law also doesn't apply if a convicted reporter doesn't acknowledge their status as a mandatory reporter.