from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J.
Heggebo appeals from his conviction and sentence for
second-degree sexual abuse. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Nan Jennisch,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.
DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE
Heggebo appeals from his conviction and sentence for
second-degree sexual abuse following jury trial. Heggebo
contends the trial court erred in admitting statements the
child witness made to her mother and in admitting the video
recording of the daughter's interview at the Child
Protection Center. Because we conclude the statements and
video were properly admitted, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
was charged with second-degree sexual abuse, in violation of
Iowa Code section 709.3(1)(b) (2015), after he was accused of
abusing a four-year-old child while he was babysitting the
child and her brother. The children's father arranged for
Heggebo to watch the children while the children's mother
went to a job interview. The mother dropped the children off
at Heggebo's house and left for her job interview.
the mother returned to pick up the children, she walked into
the house and did not see anyone. The mother called out for
the children, the bathroom door swung open, and the children
came out of the bathroom. The mother saw Heggebo sitting
naked on the toilet. The mother told the children, "You
don't go in the bathroom with [Heggebo]. You don't go
in the bathroom with anybody." Heggebo quickly shut the
bathroom door and said nothing.
daughter did not seem eager to greet her mother. Initially,
the daughter refused to come to her mother. When the daughter
finally did come to her mother, the mother noticed a clear
substance around the daughter's mouth. The mother asked
her daughter what the substance was, but the daughter looked
away and said nothing. The mother touched the substance and
smelled it. The mother described the substance as an
odorless, sticky "glob of clear fluid," that looked
came out of the bathroom wearing only shorts just as the
mother was telling the children to put on their coats. The
mother took the children outside to her vehicle, secured her
son in his car seat, and then spoke with her daughter. The
mother assured her daughter she was not in trouble but told
her, "You need to tell mommy what's on your
face." Her daughter did not respond. The mother then
asked, "Will you please tell mommy what that is?"
Then, her daughter replied it was "pee" on her
face. The mother asked, "What did [Heggebo] do to put
that 'pee' on your face?" Pointing at her own
mouth, the daughter responded that Heggebo touched his
"pee pee" and that "it" went into her
mother called and told the children's father what
happened, and he advised her to take the children home. The
father then called the mother back and asked her to bring the
children to him at work so he could look at the substance on
their daughter. The mother drove to the father's work,
and the father spoke with his daughter briefly about the
incident. The father thought his daughter was unusually quiet
point, the mother contacted the police, and a police officer
arrived at the father's work. The family went to the
police station where the mother was interviewed and swabbed
for forensic evidence. The family then went to the hospital, and
the daughter underwent a physical examination. During the
exam, the daughter told the nurse practitioner that Heggebo
had touched his "pee pee" to her mouth and that
"pee" had gotten on her face. The daughter
underwent a sexual-assault forensic examination. Later DNA
testing did not detect any of Heggebo's DNA on either the
mother or her daughter.
the physical examination, the daughter was taken to the Child
Protection Center ("CPC") at the hospital where a
forensic interviewer spoke with her about the incident. This
interview was video-recorded. The daughter told the CPC
interviewer that she and her brother were at Heggebo's
house. She said Heggebo was "sitting on the potty"
in the bathroom, and he tried to take out his "pee
pee" and pulled down his pants. Several times, the
daughter said Heggebo was "naughty." When the
interviewer asked the daughter to describe Heggebo's
"pee pee," she responded that it looked like a
"pee pee" and was "for going potty." The
daughter indicated Heggebo told her to play with his
"pee pee" using her mouth, and she confirmed her
mouth touched it. The daughter told the interviewer that
Heggebo "squished it"-his "pee
pee"-"with [her] mouth." When asked if
anything came out of his "pee pee," the daughter
the police went to Heggebo's house to execute a search
warrant. Heggebo answered the door wearing only shorts. The
police seized Heggebo's shorts because the shorts had
apparent semen stains on them. Heggebo was eventually
arrested in connection with the alleged sexual assault.
Penile swabs were collected from Heggebo. The penile swab
revealed seminal fluid but no spermatozoa, and tests showed
the stains from the shorts contained both seminal fluid and
daughter's mother testified at trial about her
observations made when she arrived at Heggebo's house.
She also testified as to what her daughter told her. Heggebo
objected to the mother testifying as to the daughter's
statements. The district court determined these statements
fell within the hearsay exception for present sense
impressions under Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.803(1). The court
also determined the statements fell within the hearsay
exception for excited utterances under rule 5.803(2).
time of trial, approximately fifteen months after the alleged
abuse, the daughter was five years old. The daughter
testified she remembered being in the bathroom with Heggebo
but did not remember what had happened. She remembered
telling her mother Heggebo's "pee" was on her
face, but she did not remember how it got there. She
remembered a doctor wiped the "pee" off her face,
but she did not know where the "pee" came from. She
gave inconsistent answers about whether she remembered
talking to doctors or talking in the room with the camera.
She did not remember telling the CPC interviewer Heggebo had
touched her with his "pee pee."
the daughter could remember very little, the State sought to
introduce the video recording of the CPC interview. Heggebo
objected to the admission of the video, but the court
ultimately admitted the recorded interview under rule