Mother says son, 11, can't trust, feel safe after being sexually abused

Offender sentenced to 22 years in prison

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The mother of an 11-year-old boy said in a victim’s impact statement Tuesday that her son is “scared and broken in thousands of pieces” after being sexually abused last year by someone he thought was his friend.

“He has anxiety and a fear of leaving home,” the mother said in her statement, read by a Linn County Attorney’s Office victim/witness coordinator, during the sentencing of Kyle M. Arends, 19, of Oelwein. “He has problems with self-respect and self-esteem. He has nightmares and has severe trust issues. I feel like I failed him as a mom. All I can do now is pray he (Arends) gets what he deserves.”

Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady sentenced Arends to 22 years in prison. Arends previously pleaded to three counts of lascivious acts with a child and indecent contact with a child. Arends admitted during the plea hearing to fondling or touching three boys, ages 8, 10 and 13 on March 1, 2016.

Arends, who declined to speak during the hearing, also is required to remain on the sex offender registry for life and has a special sentence of lifetime parole, required for sex offenders, following his prison time.

Grady told Arends this is a predatory offense and if he is convicted again he will be subject to enhanced penalties, which could result in a life prison sentence.

Tyler Johnston, Arends’ lawyer, submitted a psychological evaluation of Arends, which shows he’s developmentally challenged — “really he’s a child” — but acknowledged his client was found competent to stand trial. Johnston asked the judge to follow the plea agreement, but he also wanted the court to know he doesn’t “think prison is the right place for people with developmental disabilities — they need treatment.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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