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State v. Beek

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 6, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BRITTANY RAE BEEK, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Colleen D. Weiland, Judge.

         Brittany Beek appeals the conviction and sentence entered upon a jury verdict finding her guilty of third-degree sexual abuse. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Nan N. Jennisch, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Brittany R. Beek, Mitchellville, pro se.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          MULLINS, Judge.

         Brittany Beek appeals the conviction and sentence entered upon a jury verdict finding her guilty of third-degree sexual abuse, a class "C" felony. See Iowa Code § 709.4(1)(b)(3)(d), (2) (2016). Beek contends (1) the jury's guilty verdict "is not supported by the weight of evidence" and (2) the district court erred in failing to exercise its discretion in sentencing.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On May 10, 2016, two juvenile girls, S.R. and K.S.-H., respectively sixteen and fifteen years old at the time, ran away from a youth shelter. The following day, while they were still on the run, S.R. contacted Beek, a twenty-seven year old, for a place to stay. Beek picked the girls up and eventually transported them to her home. That evening, the three of them watched a movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, in Beek's bedroom and "hung out until about one or two in the morning." In the night, Beek pursued sexual activities with the girls, inserting a dildo into S.R.'s vagina and using a pink vibrator and glass dildo on K.S.-H. Both girls unequivocally testified at trial that Beek inserted the various sex toys in their vaginas.

         The next day, the girl's contacted S.R.'s ex-boyfriend, Cameron, for a ride and covertly left Beek's residence. After picking up the girls, Cameron advised them he was going to turn them in to law enforcement. After a struggle, the girls got away from Cameron and "ran through a field." When police officers subsequently found the girls in the field, S.R. was transferred to a detention facility and K.S.-H. back to the youth shelter. S.R. advised the staff at her detention facility of the prior evening's events. She subsequently relayed the same information to a detective with the local sheriff's office. Both girls were transported to the hospital for medical examination and forensic interviews. Both girls advised medical personnel and interviewers that Beek sexually assaulted them.

         Law enforcement obtained a warrant to search Beek's residence. Upon a search of Beek's bedroom, officers found various sex toys and some of the girls' clothing. In a subsequent interview with a police officer, Beek verified the girls spent the night at her house the prior evening but denied any sexual contact occurred. The division of criminal investigation performed DNA testing on two of the sex toys. S.R.'s DNA was found on one of the toys. Two DNA profiles were found on the other toy, one belonging to Beek. There was an insufficient amount of DNA present to determine the identity of the second contributor.

         Beek was charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, one count as to K.S.-H. and one count as to S.R. A jury found Beek guilty of the count pertaining to K.S.-H.[1] The district court denied Beek's subsequent motion for a new trial and in arrest of judgment. The court sentenced Beek to a term of incarceration not to exceed ten years, ordered her to register as a sex offender, placed her under the supervision of the Iowa Department of Corrections for life, and imposed a suspended fine, civil penalty, victim restitution, and various surcharges. Beek appeals. Additional facts may be set forth below as are relevant to the issues raised on appeal.

         II. Weight ...


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