CEDAR RAPIDS — A 16-year-old girl said being sexually assaulted nearly two years ago destroyed her independence and confidence. She feels “betrayed and alone” and hasn’t recovered.
Before being sexually abused by Christian Sousley and two other teens on April 30, 2017, the teen said she thought nothing could hurt her, according to a victim’s impact statement read in Linn County District Court on Friday by a Linn County Attorney’s Office victim/witness coordinator.
After a video of the sex acts was posted on social media, the girl said she couldn’t look in the mirror and didn’t want to go out in public because she knew people had seen her body.
A Linn County jury in March convicted Sousley, now 20, of Marion, of second-degree sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of a minor.
Trial testimony showed Sousley, along with two teen boys, sexually abused the 15-year-old girl at a home in Marion.
Sousley also videotaped the sex acts and shared the graphic video on Snapchat, a social media app, according to testimony.
‘unapologetic, narcissistic defendant’
Assistant Linn County Attorney Rena Schulte called Sousley the “most unapologetic, narcissistic defendant I have personally encountered” and asked the judge to run the 25- and 10-year sentences consecutively for 35 years in prison.
Sousley, she said, never took responsibility for what he did. He “lied on the stand and contradicted himself.” He bragged about the acts to his mother and during jail phone calls and called the victim disparaging names, she said.
She also said the victim wasn’t at the hearing because she has not recovered.
Webb Wassmer, Sousley’s lawyer, asked the judge to make a sentencing decision based on “facts, not emotions.”
He argued the evidence wasn’t strong, and the sentences should run concurrently for a total of 25 years.
Sousley declined to speak during the hearing.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover-Grinde ran the sentences concurrently for a total of 25 years, saying she thought that was sufficient because Sousley will have to serve 70 percent — 17-1/2 years — before being eligible for parole.
She also told Sousley he will be required to be listed on the sex offender registry for life and will be on parole for life since this is a sex offense.
girl drank vodka, blacked out
During the March trial, the girl testified she drank a half bottle of vodka the night she was abused and blacked out. She said she didn’t want to have sex and didn’t consent.
She said she didn’t remember having sex with Sousley or the others at the Marion house but remembered waking up to Sousley on top of her.
She testified she didn’t realize she had been sexually assaulted until she started receiving texts through Snapchat from Sousley.
In the texts, which were shown to the jury, Sousley said they were all drunk and admitted to having sex with the girl.
The graphic video recording made by Sousley was played for jurors, along with recorded phone calls Sousley made from jail in which he admitted to sex acts with the girl, knowing she was 15 and intoxicated.
A nurse testified at trial the girl was treated for acute alcohol intoxication.
During trial, Sousley testified the sex was consensual and claimed he wasn’t in the video. He denied being in the room and said one of two teen boys hacked into his Snapchat account, recorded it and shared it on the app.
Both teen boys testified at trial and admitted they all three sexually abused the girl.
Jaymz Plummer, now 19, of Marion, was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse; he received a deferred sentenced and three years probation.
The other boy was tried in juvenile court and sentenced to one year of probation.
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