116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A 31-year-old former Four Oaks counselor Tuesday was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 2017 and 2018.
Danielle V. Hook, formerly of Marion, pleaded guilty in Linn County District Court to third-degree sexual abuse. During a plea hearing in October, she admitted that she had sex with the teen from July 1, 2017, through Nov. 30, 2018, while employed as a counselor in a position of authority over boys at Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids.
Assistant Iowa Attorney General Israel Kodiaga, who prosecuted the case, asked the judge to sentence Hook to 10 years in prison. Kodiaga noted that under Iowa law, if a mandatory reporter sexually abuses a victim under 18, a prison term must be imposed.
Defense lawyer David Fiester asked the judge if Hook could start serving her prison term after Christmas because she has two children — one of whom just turned 1.
Kodiaga asked for Hook to be sentenced immediately, as the law requires because she was convicted of a forcible felony. Hook also has known that she would be taken into custody upon sentencing for some time now, he added.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Sean McPartland agreed with the prosecution and declined to delay her prison sentence.
He also said Hook will be required to comply with the sex offender registry requirements for 10 years and serve a special sentence of lifetime parole because this is a sexual offense. A five-year no-contact order to protect the victim also was ordered.
McPartland said this is considered a predatory offense so any future sexual offense by Hook would be enhanced — meaning more prison time.
The other charges of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist and harboring a child will be dismissed as requested by the prosecution as part of the plea agreement.
Hook declined to make a statement during the hearing.
There also was no statement from the victim, and he didn’t attend the hearing. The teen’s family was in the courtroom in support of Hook.
Hook previously pleaded to both charges in March and had a plea agreement to receive a suspended sentence, but Judge Chad Kepros said he wouldn’t accept a suspended sentence because she was a mandatory reporter of child abuse as a counselor and the victim was younger than 18. She therefore would have been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Kepros allowed her to withdraw her plea because her lawyer and the prosecutor didn’t make her aware of the law regarding sentencing.
After Hook was fired from Four Oaks, authorities discovered the teen was living with her in Marion, 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.
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