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In re G.R.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 1, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF G.R., Minor Child, G.R., Minor Child, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.

         A minor child appeals the juvenile court decision finding he committed the delinquent act of sexual abuse in the second degree.

          Cory McClure, Annie von Gillern, and Amy K. Davis of Babich Goldman, PC, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         G.R. appeals the juvenile court decision finding he committed the delinquent act of sexual abuse in the second degree. We find the court did not abuse its discretion in denying G.R.'s request for a consent decree or in determining G.R. should be required to register as a sex offender. We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         J.E. asked his parents, T.E. and D.E., if he could have two friends, G.R. and B.J., come to a sleepover on December 31, 2017, for a New Year's Eve party. G.R. was then fifteen years old. J.E.'s younger sister, C.E., who was then eight years old, was also present in the home. While J.E. and B.J. were playing video games in the basement, G.R. and C.E. were nearby playing with some of C.E.'s toys.

         After a while, G.R. and C.E. went into an exercise room in the basement, closing the door behind them. The family had an inversion table where a person could strap their legs into the device and then be turned upside down. G.R. asked C.E. to play a game to see who could hang upside down the longest. C.E. strapped her legs into the device, and G.R. turned it so her head was towards the floor. In this position, G.R. pulled C.E.'s pants and underwear to her knees and touched her vaginal area, which she called her "la-la." He also put a finger into her anus. G.R. told C.E. not to worry because he was checking her heartbeat as part of his health class. He told her not to tell her parents. G.R. swung C.E. upright, she got out of the device, and pulled up her pants.

         G.R. told C.E. whoever was the loser in the game would get two love pats on bare butt cheeks and a pinky in the butt hole. G.R. strapped himself into the inversion table, turned upside down for a period of time, then turned upright. He told C.E. she lost the game. C.E. pulled down her pants and bent over a bench, saying she did not want a pinky in the butt hole. G.R. gave her two pats on each butt cheek and put his pinky in her anus. G.R. and C.E. then returned to the party.

         Later in the evening, C.E. told her mother what occurred. On January 1, 2018, C.E.'s parents called the police. G.R. told an officer he and C.E. had a contest to see who could hang upside down the longest on the inversion table but denied inappropriately touching C.E.

         On February 22, 2018, the State filed a petition alleging G.R. committed the delinquent act of sexual abuse in the second degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 709.3(1)(b) (2017). At an adjudication hearing, C.E. testified to the incident on New Year's Eve. The juvenile court found C.E. was a credible witness. The court concluded the State presented sufficient evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt G.R. committed the delinquent act of second-degree sexual abuse.

         G.R. engaged in individual sexual-offender treatment from February to May 2018 but was told the counselor could not proceed with treatment because G.R. had not admitted to the sexual abuse. G.R. then began individual sexual-offender treatment with another counselor. G.R. had a psychosexual evaluation, which recommended individual therapy, sexual offender specific treatment, and a sexual-history polygraph. G.R.'s juvenile court officer (JCO) used the Juvenile Sexual Offense Recidivism Risk Assessment ...


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