from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P.
Turner appeals his sentence after pleading guilty to
operating while intoxicated and assault with intent to commit
JohnPatrick Brown and Katherine Drummond of Winstein,
Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC, Rock Island, Illinois, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Scott, S.J.
December 18, 2017, Shannon Turner drove a woman to her home
while he was intoxicated. Upon arrival, Turner attempted to
invite himself into the home, but the woman refused.
According to the woman, he then tried to kiss her. He was
able to forcefully undress her and pull his boxer shorts down
around his knees. She pushed him away many times and
repeatedly stated, "No," but Turner continued to
attempt intercourse with her. The woman was able to
discreetly call emergency services, and law enforcement
intervened. Turner pled guilty to operating while
intoxicated, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2(2)(b)
(2017), and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, in
violation of Iowa Code section 709.11(3).
sentencing hearing was held on September 13, 2018. At the
hearing, the State recommended incarceration based on the
seriousness of the crime. It noted Turner's lack of
criminal history but argued "when you hit it out of the
ballpark in your first offense like in this case, the
punishment needs to fit the crime." Next, Turner and his
counsel presented many mitigating factors, including his lack
of criminal history prior to this incident, his remorse, his
willingness to pay any restitution to the victim, his
family's dependence on him and his income, and the
presentence investigation (PSI) report's recommendation
delivering the sentence, the district court stated,
This is, in terms of criminal sentencing, somewhat of an
individual and unique circumstance in that we have a crime of
personal sexual assault against a person made by a Defendant
who has a very minimum other criminal history.
That being said, the assaultive crime in this matter . . .
has been properly described by the victim as an attempt to
sexually assault her, and that's perfectly accurate. But
for the intervention of law enforcement, this could have been
a much, much more serious criminal charge against the
. . . The court has read the presentence investigation, is
aware that the PSI recommends probation. The Court has heard
the Defendant's request for a deferred judgment . . . .
However, based on the fact that this is a crime of violence,
that it was a sexually predatory crime of violence, in order
to protect the public, and also based on the Defendant's
substance abuse history, his treatment options available, and
also his family circumstances, the court believes that the
recommendation for sentencing as set forth by the State is
the appropriate sentence in this matter, that incarceration
is called for because of this horrific event . . . .
district court imposed a sentence not to exceed two years of
incarceration for each offense, to ...