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State v. Delong

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 6, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
EDDIE DONOVAN DELONG, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cherokee County, David A. Lester, Judge.

         Eddie DeLong appeals part of his restitution order.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and Maria Ruhtenberg, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.

          BOWER, Chief Judge.

         Eddie DeLong appeals his restitution order, claiming there is not an adequate causal connection between the ordered restitution and his crimes. We find substantial evidence supports the district court's findings and affirm.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         In the summer of 2016, DeLong provided a fourteen-year-old with alcohol and committed a sex act against her. The next morning, she had blood on her underwear, her pants were on backward, and her vaginal area hurt. On November 30, 2017, a jury convicted DeLong of sexual abuse in the third degree as a habitual offender and of supplying alcohol to a minor. We affirmed the convictions on appeal. State v. DeLong, 18-0588, 2019 WL 2144638, at *4 (Iowa Ct. App. May 15, 2019).[1] The crime victim compensation program (CVCP) made payments for physical and mental-health care for the victim.

         The parties requested a restitution hearing, which occurred on June 22, 2018. The only witness to testify was Ruth Walker, the restitution subrogation coordinator for the CVCP. Walker described the approval process used by the CVCP to determine if claimed charges relate to the offenses before issuing payment. The process involves the treating facility submitting a medical-expense verification form, CVCP reviewing the medical records for each request and comparing them to the crime, and a second review performed by a compensation specialist before approval. Each verification form includes a question whether the services "were a direct result of the crime."

         At the hearing, a summary and copies of the billing records were submitted into evidence, but the actual medical records were not submitted due to confidentiality requirements.[2] During cross-examination, when asked if and how specific physical medical treatments related to the crime, Walker stated, "This is a sexual assault victim. So her injuries are not just going to be from that one particular day. This could be going on for years, treatment she may need because of that crime. . . . The treatment that she's receiving is related to the crime."

         On September 12, DeLong was ordered to pay $2740.95-the full amount of restitution requested. He appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         "We review restitution orders for correction of errors at law." State v. Albright, 925 N.W.2d 144, 158 (Iowa 2019). "In the review of a restitution order, 'we determine whether the court's findings lack substantial evidentiary support, or whether the court has not properly applied the law.'" State v. Edouard, 854 N.W.2d 421, 450 (Iowa 2014) (quoting State v. Hagen, 840 N.W.2d 140, 144 (Iowa 2013)), ...


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