17-year-old receives deferred judgment for sex abuse

Boy will be on probation for five years, participate in sex offender treatment program

Gavel. (MGN)
Gavel. (MGN)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge told a 17-year-old she was giving him a second chance Friday, after granting him a deferred judgment for sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mary Chicchelly said she was deferring his sentence based on his age and the psychosexual evaluation, which indicated a low risk for reoffending, and because he had no previous offenses.

Jacob Crabtree, 16 at the time offense, was charged with second-degree sexual abuse but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of lascivious acts with a child. According to a criminal complaint, he admitted to sexually abusing the victim on several occasions in Marion. The victim gave a detailed account of the abuse that began when she was 5-years-old.

Crabtree told the judge he took full responsibility for his actions and felt “remorse and regret.” He apologized to the victim and his family. He said he wanted to change his life.

“I’m not asking for forgiveness but asking for a second chance,” Crabtree said.

Chicchelly said she wanted to make sure this never happens again because this was a serious offense and she would give him the second chance he requested. She wanted him to successfully complete his probation and didn’t want to see him back in court on a violation, she said.

Crabtree will be on probation for five years and be required to participate in a sex offender treatment program. Chicchelly also ordered a full psychological evaluation to be conducted and that he follow through with any treatment if recommended.

David Ballanby, Department of Corrections pre-sentence investigator, testified Crabtree cooperated with evaluation and screening process, and accepted responsibility for his actions. He also said Crabtree was at low risk to reoffend.

Mark Crabtree, Jacob’s father who now lives in Illinois, asked the court to grant the deferred judgment because he wanted his son to have a chance to change his life and move forward. He said Jacob was interested in going into the military and he couldn’t do that if the conviction stayed on his record.

Chicchelly said she would transfer Crabtree’s probation to Kentucky because that’s where the teen planned to live with his grandfather.

Crabtree will also be on the sex offender registry for 10 years.