Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man convicted of sexually abusing child

He faces up to 35 years in prison

Wayne Gibson
Wayne Gibson

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 43-year-old Cedar Rapids man faces up to 35 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a child for more than two years. 

A Linn County jury, following a four-day trial, found Wayne P. Gibson guilty of second-degree sexual abuse and third-degree sexual abuse. The jury deliberated about four hours Friday before returning the verdict.

Sentencing is set for April 17 in Linn County District Court.

Trial testimony shows Gibson started sexually abusing the girl, now 13, when she was under the age of 12 in January 2016 and continued through April 11, 2018.

The child was placed with a guardian after the abuse happened. Her father had died from a heroin overdose and her mother was a drug addict, according to testimony.

The girl’s older sister noticed something was wrong with her, and the girl told her sister about the abuse, according to testimony.         

Assistant Linn County Attorney Monica Slaughter said during the investigation a search warrant was obtained for Gibson’s phone records and his text messages to the victim revealed he discussed the sexual abuse in graphic details.

There were also texts from the victim, saying she would tell on him, but Gibson, in threatening her, said she would be sent to a mental hospital where they would give her medications and he would be killed.

Slaughter, during the trial, also played for the jury some jail calls that Gibson made to the victim’s guardian, asking her to not show up for depositions or trial, and to have the victim write a letter recanting the statements about sexual abuse.

Both the guardian and victim testified at trial, Slaughter said.

Slaughter will ask the judge to run the sentences consecutively, for 35 years. Gibson would have to serve 70 percent of each sentence before being eligible for parole.

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