Public Safety

At sentencing, sex abuse victim says Iowa City man 'tormented and obliterated' her

Jeffry Waite
Jeffry Waite

IOWA CITY — A 20-year-old woman Wednesday said Jeffry Waite “emotionally tormented and obliterated” her from the time she was child through her teen years.

The woman, in a victim impact statement read by Emily Milke, an advocate with Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa City, said she was sexually abused by Waite — “this sweaty and smelly man” who would sneak into her room and force himself on her. She was “robbed of her childhood,” and it also “emotionally destroyed” her family because they have lived in fear of Waite.

Waite, 56, of Iowa City, was convicted by a Johnson County jury in June of one misdemeanor count of lascivious conduct with a minor and five felony counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

According to trial testimony, Waite inappropriately touched the child until she was 16. Then his abuse escalated, and he forced her to have sex over the course of two years.

Because of the years of abuse, the woman has post-traumatic stress disorder, a “paralyzing fear of crowds,” trouble sleeping, nightmares and panic attacks, depression and anxiety, she said.

“It means the world to me that I was heard and believed by this community (jurors),” the woman said.

She asked 6th Judicial District Judge Ian Thornhill to give Waite the maximum prison time.

Waite faced up to 51 years in prison, but Thornhill ran some of the 10-year sentences concurrently for a total of 30 years, which the prosecution also recommended.

During the hearing, Waite denied the sexual abuse, saying “I didn’t do those things to (her).” He also said he didn’t know why the jury believed her.

Thornhill, who was the trial judge, said he heard all the testimony and “I believe everything the victim said.”

The judge also denied Waite’s motion for new trial, saying the evidence supported the verdict.

Waite also will serve a special sentence of parole for life because these are sex offenses, and he will be required to be on the sex offender registry for life.

Thornhill said the prosecution has 30 days to file any restitution in the case. If Waite contests the restitution request, there will be a hearing.

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