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Public Safety

Former Iowa City paraeducator receives suspended sentence for child sexual abuse

Scott Suhr
Scott Suhr

IOWA CITY — A judge this week suspended the 20-year sentence of a former special education paraeducator who sexually abused a child.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mitchell Turner followed the plea agreement and sentenced Scott M. Suhr, 31, of Iowa City, to five years probation for two counts of lascivious acts with a child. He sexually abused a girl younger than 6 years old from July 2012 to March 2018, and also from July 2016 to March 2018, according to court documents.

Suhr, a former paraeducator at Longfellow Elementary School in Iowa City, also will be listed on the sex offender registry for life and serve a special sentence of parole for life because this is a sexual offense.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said the child’s mother was consulted about the plea.

Last year, officials with the Iowa City Community School District said Suhr started working as a paraeducator in November 2017 and immediately was placed on leave when they learned of the criminal investigation March 28, 2018. He no longer is with the school district.

School officials also said the allegations of abuse were not related to any Longfellow students, which prosecutors confirmed.

Suhr was hired after completing the district’s application and background check process, according to the district’s statement.

A criminal complaint showed the child described to police at least two incidents of sexual abuse over a two-year period, providing details only the victim and Suhr would know.

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In a subsequent interview with police, Suhr admitted to the abuse on two different occasions, according to the complaint.

• Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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