Public Safety

Former Iowa City paraeducator convicted of sexually abusing a child

Will receive suspended sentence, according to plea deal

Scott Suhr
Scott Suhr

IOWA CITY — A 31-year-old former special education paraeducator who sexually abused a child when she was younger than 6 pleaded to lesser charges Tuesday in Johnson County District Court.

Scott M. Suhr of Iowa City pleaded guilty to two charges of lascivious acts with a child. He was originally charged with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of lascivious acts with a child and two counts of child endangerment.

Suhr, a former paraeducator at Longfellow Elementary School in Iowa City, faced up to 20 years in prison, but the prosecution will recommend a suspended sentence and five years of probation, according to the plea agreement.

The other charges will be dismissed at sentencing set for June 24.

Assistant Johnson County Attorney Mike Ringle said he couldn’t further explain why the recommendation was made for the suspended sentence. More details may be available at sentencing, he said.

Suhr, during the hearing, admitted to sexually abusing the child between July 2012 and March 2018, and also between July 2016 and March 2018.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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