Former Cedar Rapids bus attendant charged with sex exploitation of underage girls may take federal plea deal
Tyler Konigsmark is accused of having sex with 12-year-old girl
CEDAR RAPIDS — A 20-year-old former Cedar Rapids schools bus attendant charged with sending explicit photos of himself to a 12-year-old girl who rode on his bus route, and then later sexually assaulting her, may forgo his trial and plead guilty in federal court.
A plea has been offered to Tyler Konigsmark, his lawyer Christopher Nathan told a federal magistrate during a status hearing on Wednesday. The plea hasn’t been signed and there are minor details to work out, so Nathan asked U.S. District Chief Magistrate Jon Scoles to set another status hearing for Aug. 31.
Nathan didn’t say what the plea agreement would be and there are no court documents filed regarding a plea at this time.
The hearing will be cancelled if a plea agreement is reached. Konigsmark’s trial is set for Sept. 19.
Konigsmark is charged with sexual exploitation of children and enticement of minors. A Hiawatha police captain testified last month during a detention hearing that Konigsmark admitted to sending explicit photos of himself and asking the girl to send photos to him. He also admitted to having sex with the girl and the girl confirmed they did.
Capt. Ben Kamm testified the photos were sent over Snapchat, an application to exchange photos, which automatically deletes photos from the senders’ and receivers’ accounts after being read. Police don’t have the photos, but a medical exam showed the girl had injuries associated with sexual acts, and DNA evidence linked Konigsmark to the girl.
In addition, Kamm said two other girls — ages 13 and 14 — told police that Konigsmark sent them explicit photos of himself, also with Snapchat. They also were on the same bus route, but Konigsmark has denied their claims. The 13-year-old student said she didn’t send any explicit photos to Konigsmark, but the 14-year-old student said she sent him one.
Kamm also testified that the 12-year-old told police she also contacted Konigsmark through text messages, but he didn’t think any had been recovered. A forensic exam of Konigsmark’s phone determined he had contact with at least one of the girls since April.
Scoles denied release of Konigsmark, a former Jefferson High School baseball and basketball player, pending trial during that July hearing.
Konigsmark met the three girls while working as a Cedar Rapids Community School district bus attendant from March through May, Kamm said. The bus route picked up Harding and Taft middle school students, as well as students from Metro Area Catholic schools.
Marcia Hughes, Cedar Rapids Community School District spokesperson, said last month a statement went out to parents of children who may have been in contact with Konigsmark. He was hired March 7 and suspended in May when Hiawatha notified the district of the investigation. She said Konigsmark was then terminated on May 25.
As a bus attendant, he was responsible for the supervision and care of students on the bus.