Judiciary Committee – Week 10, 2021


HF 201 – Sex Offender Registry Requirements and Sexually Motivated Extortion

HF 201 comes from the Iowa County Attorneys Association and relates to the sex offender registration. The bill:

  • Makes sexually motivated extortion a Tier III sex offense for purposes of the sex offender registry. The determination as to whether extortion is sexually motivated is made by a jury or the judge.
  • Requires a sex offender who is registered in another state but resides, works or attends school in Iowa to register as a sex offender in Iowa under the other state’s duration requirements or under Iowa’s duration requirements, whichever is longer.
    [3/16: short form]


SF 243 – Crimes of Failure to Assist, Abuse of a Corpse, and Interference with Official Acts

SF 243 is in response to the tragic drowning death of Noah Herring at the Coralville Reservoir last year. The bill:

  • Adds to the crime of “abuse of a corpse” by adding language that failure to disclose the known location of a corpse with the intent to conceal a crime is considered abuse of a corpse.
  • Makes it a crime of “interference with official acts” when a person knowingly resists or obstructs a medical examiner in the performance of their duties.
  • Creates the crime of “failure to assist.” A person who witnesses another person suffering from imminent danger of death or risk of serious bodily injury who, unreasonably and without lawful cause, fails to immediately contact local emergency response authorities or local law enforcement, or both, commits an aggravated misdemeanor.
  • Discharges the requirement to assist with a prompt call to 911.

It is a defense if a person actually believed that the other person was not in imminent danger or risk of serious bodily injury. It’s a defense to a charge of “failure to assist” if the person attempted to contact emergency response authorities or law enforcement.

The Senate adopted an amendment which makes it a defense to a prosecution for failing to contact law enforcement or emergency assistance if the person had a reasonable belief that aiding or making contact as required by the bill would place the person at risk of serious bodily injury or death.
[3/17: 47-0 (Absent: Hogg, Goodwin, Nunn)]

SF 450 – Dependent Adult Abuse Causing Death

SF 450 creates a penalty of 2nd degree murder when a caretaker intentionally or recklessly commits dependent adult abuse that results in death.
[3/17: 47-0 (Absent: Hogg, Goodwin, Nunn)]

SF 562 – Sexual Exploitation by an Adult Providing Training or Instruction

SF 562 adds an “adult providing training or instruction” to the individuals who can be charged with sexual abuse or sexual exploitation under 614.1, sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee. The legislation will apply to any non-school employee age 18 or over who provides paid training or instruction to a minor and is at least four or more years older than the minor receiving the training or instruction. The charge will only apply to an offense that occurs within the time the adult providing training or instruction was receiving payment for the training or instruction.

  • It will be sexual exploitation by an adult, as defined in the bill, who provides paid training or instruction when there is a pattern or practice or scheme of conduct or any sexual conduct with a minor for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of the adult providing training or instruction, or the minor. Sexual conduct includes but is not limited to:
    • Kissing
    • Touching of the clothed or unclothed inner thigh, breast, buttock, anus, pubes or genitals
    • A sex act as defined in Code section 702.17

If the adult engages in a pattern or practice or scheme of conduct to engage in any of the conduct described in the bill, the penalty is a “D” felony. If the adult engages in any of the conduct with the minor, the penalty is an aggravated misdemeanor.

Note that this is really about 16- and 17-year-olds who are receiving instruction. It would already be a crime generally for persons 18 and over to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 16. In Iowa, the age of consent (for sexual relations) is 16. Thus, under the bill, for example, if a 17-year-old minor who is receiving instruction from a 21-year-old engages in a consensual relationship with the 21-year-old, it would be a crime under this bill, and the 21-year-old could be charged with sexual exploitation. Persons who are convicted under this Code section would be placed on the sex offender registry.
[3/17: 37-10 (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Celsi, Dotzler, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, T. Taylor, Trone Garriott; Absent: Hogg, Goodwin, Nunn)]