Public Safety

Judge gives Alburnett man deferred judgment for sexual abuse conviction

Father of 15-year-old victim says her life changed 'not for the better'

CEDAR RAPIDS — The father of a 15-year-old girl who was sexually abused in January said during a victim impact statement she was “changed forever, and not for the better.”

“There is the girl that she was before and the girl she is afterward,” the father said Tuesday during the sentencing of Tanner Hoyer, 21, of Alburnett.

The girl now has panic attacks, difficulty sleeping and becomes scared for no reason. She has been in counseling, but it’s been limited during the coronavirus restrictions, the father said.

Hoyer, who didn’t make a statement during his sentencing, pleaded guilty last month in Linn County District Court to amended charges of enticing a minor and delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), both Class D felonies.

A criminal complaint showed Hoyer, then 20, was pulled over for speeding by Marion police Jan. 26. He and his passenger, the 15-year-old girl, were impaired by marijuana, which police found in his vehicle.

The girl said she was sexually assaulted by Hoyer and that he gave her marijuana.

Hoyer admitted to having consensual sex with the girl and using marijuana, but he denied giving any marijuana to her, according to the complaint.

Lindsay Garner, Hoyer’s lawyer, asked 6th Judicial District Judge Mitchell Turner for a deferred judgment, citing Hoyer’s lack of a criminal history and his steps toward rehabilitation.

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Turner told Hoyer no sentence he imposes can change what happened because Hoyer “changed people’s lives,” but the judge commended him for taking the appropriate steps of drug treatment and counseling.

Turner granted the deferred judgment. But he told Hoyer this was a “an opportunity,” and if Hoyer violates his probation, he will face the possible 10-year prison term.

Hoyer will be on probation for three years and will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

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

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