CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge sentenced a Cedar Rapids man Monday to two years in prison for pleading guilty to a lesser charge in a sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl.
Bryan Henderson, 38, made an Alford plea in Linn County District Court in May to indecent contact with a child, just before his trial was to start for third-degree sexual abuse and dissemination of obscene materials.
In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains his innocence but admits the prosecution has enough evidence to prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt.
The victim, now 16, in a statement read by her mother, said Monday her teenage years were “stolen” because of what happened and how long the court process has taken.
The victim reported the March 2017 incident several months later. Henderson was charged in March 2018.
6th Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover-Grinde, in sentencing Henderson to prison time for the aggravated misdemeanor, cited his prior conviction in making the determination. Henderson’s lawyer asked for probation.
A criminal complaint said the girl described Henderson, a relative’s friend, touching her while they were in the kitchen of his house on March 11, 2017. She described the sex acts during a forensic interview at Unity Point-St. Luke’s Child Protection Center.
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The girl told the interviewer that the kitchen was an area of the house that didn’t have surveillance cameras, according to the complaint.
She also said Henderson showed her pornographic images on his cellphone.
The charges against Henderson were amended by the prosecution after a ruling by Hoover-Grinde that wouldn’t allow evidence at trial that Henderson, if he testified, had been charged with a sexual abuse of a child because he pleaded to child endangerment and received a suspended sentence and probation.
Typically, if defendants testify, their previous convictions are allowed to come into testimony, but the judge has discretion.
Henderson’s conviction was in 2013, involving a 12-year-old girl. Her family didn’t want her to testify and a plea agreement was made, said Anastasia Basquin, chief victim liaison for the Linn County Attorney’s Office.
First Assistant Nick Maybanks, in arguing for prison time, said Henderson took advantage of the teen’s trust and continued to be consistent over the years in what she disclosed to police and a forensic interviewer. He also pointed out Henderson’s prior conviction.
The girl and her family agreed to the plea after going over the possible outcomes, Maybanks said.
Hoover-Grinde ordered Henderson to comply with the sex offender registry for 10 years and serve a special sentence of parole for 10 years because this is a sex offense. The judge granted a five-year no-contact order to protect the girl.
Henderson’s conviction also means any future sex offense conviction can be enhanced.
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