116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
She faces 10 years in prison
CEDAR RAPIDS — A 30-year-old former Four Oaks counselor Thursday admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 2017 and 2018, and faces 10 years in prison.
Danielle V. Hook, formerly of Marion, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse. The other charge of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist will be dismissed at sentencing as part of the plea agreement.
Hook previously pleaded to both charges in March and had a plea agreement to receive a suspended sentence, but 6th Judicial District Judge Chad Kepros said he wouldn’t accept her plea because she was a mandatory reporter of child abuse as a counselor and the victim was younger than 18. If he accepted the plea, she would be sentenced to 15 years in prison, in accordance with Iowa law.
Kepros allowed her to withdraw her plea because her lawyer and the prosecutor didn’t make her aware of this law.
Judge Patrick Grady on Thursday went over the consequences of the plea — 10 years in prison, along with sex offender registry requirements and serving a special sentence of parole because it is a sex offense — to make sure Hook understood that she’s not eligible for a suspended sentence.
Hook admitted to having sex with the teen from July 1, 2017, through Nov. 30, 2018, while she was employed as a counselor and in a position of authority over male youths at Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids, according to court documents.
She must comply with sex offender registry requirements and serve the special sentence of parole for life.
Grady informed her this was considered a predatory offense, which will enhance penalties — increase prison time — on any future sexual offense.
After Hook was fired from Four Oaks, it was discovered the teen was living with her in Marion when authorities were searching for him, according to an investigation by the Iowa Department of Human Services and Juvenile Court Services.
Investigators also discovered Hook gave birth to the teenager’s child, which was confirmed by a DNA test, a criminal complaint stated.
Hook’s sentencing hasn’t been set at this time.
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