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Statutes of Limitations

Sexual Offense Statutes

Iowa Code § 709.1. Sexual abuse

  • Any sex act between persons is sexual abuse where (1) the act is done by force or against the will of the other, including where consent is procured by threats violence or where act is done while the other is under the influence of a sleep inducing drug or is otherwise unconscious; (2) the other is suffering from a mental defect or incapacity which precludes giving consent or lacks the mental capacity to know the right and wrong of conduct in sexual matters; or (3) the other person is a child

Iowa Code § 709.2 Sexual abuse, first degree

  • Class A felony if the offender causes another serious injury in the course of committing sexual abuse.

Iowa Code § 709.3 Sexual abuse, second degree

Class B felony if:

  • during the commission of sexual abuse, the offender displays in a threatening manner a dangerous weapon, or uses or threatens to use force creating a substantial risk of death or serious injury to any person,
  • the victim is under the age of 12, or
  • the offender is aided or abetted by one or more persons and the sex act is committed by force or against the will of the victim.

Iowa Code § 709.4 Sexual abuse, third degree

Class C felony if:

  • the act is done by force or against the will of the victim,
  • the act is between persons who are not at the time cohabitating as husband and wife and any of the following are true:

      • the victim is suffering from a mental defect or incapacity which precludes giving consent,
      • the victim is 12 or 13 years of age,
      • the victim is 14 or 15 and any of the following are true:
  • the offender is a member of the same household as the victim,
  • the offender is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the fourth degree,
  • the offender is in a position of authority over the victim and uses that authority to coerce the victim to submit, or
  • the offender is 4 or more years older than the victim.
  • The act is performed while the victim is under the influence of a controlled substance
  • The act is performed while the victim is mentally or physically incapacitated or physically helpless

Iowa Code § 709.8 Lascivious acts with a child

  • Class C felony if a person 16 or over fondles or touches the pubes or genitals of a child, permits or causes a child to fondle or touch the person’s genitals or pubes; or causes the touching of the person's genitals to any part of the body of a child.
  • Class D felony if a person 16 or over solicits a child to engage in a sex act, solicits a person to arrange a sex act with a child, or inflicts pain or discomfort upon a child or permits a child to inflict pain or discomfort on the person.

Iowa Code § 709.10. Indecent exposure

  • Serious misdemeanor where a person exposes the person’s genitals or pubes to another no the person’s spouse, or who commits a sex act in the presence of or view of a third person if (1) the person does so to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either party; and (2) the person knows or reasonably should know that the act is offensive to the viewer

Iowa Code § 709.11 Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse

  • Any person who commits an assault, as defined in Iowa Code Section 708.1, with the intent to commit sexual abuse is guilty of a class “C” felony if the person thereby causes serious injury to any person and guilty of a class “D” felony if the person thereby causes any person a bodily injury other than a serious injury. The person is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor if no injury results.

Iowa Code § 709.12 Indecent contact with a child

  • Aggravated misdemeanor if an offender 18 or older engages in certain enumerated types of touching of a child, who is not the offender’s spouse (with or without the child’s consent), for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them.  This crime also applies to any offender aged 16 or 17 if the victim is at least five years younger than the offender.

Iowa Code § 709.14 Lascivious conduct with a minor

  • Serious misdemeanor for a person over 18 years of age who is in a position of authority over a minor to force, persuade, or coerce a minor, with or without consent, to disrobe or partially disrobe for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them.

Iowa Code § 709.15 Sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee

  • (4) (a) Class D felony if there is pattern or scheme of sexual conduct by a counselor or therapist with an emotionally dependent patient or client or emotionally dependent former patient or client within one year after the termination of the provision of mental health services by the counselor or therapist.
  • (4) (b) Aggravated misdemeanor if there is any sexual conduct by a counselor or therapist with an emotionally dependent patient or client or emotionally dependent former patient or client.
  • (4) (c) Serious misdemeanor if there is any sexual conduct by a counselor or therapist with a patient or client or former patient or client within one year of the termination of the provision of mental health services by the counselor or therapist.
  • (5) (a) Class D felony if there is a pattern or scheme of sexual conduct by a school employee with a student.
  • (5) (b) Aggravated misdemeanor if there is any sexual conduct by a school employee with a student.

Iowa Code § 709.16 Sexual misconduct with offenders and juveniles

  • Applies when an officer, employee, contractor, vendor, volunteer, or agent (1) of the judicial district department of correctional services engages in a sex act with an individual in the custody of the department of correctional services; (2) of a juvenile placement facility engages in a sex act with a juvenile placed at such facility; or (3) of a county who engages in a sex act with a prisoner incarcerated in a county jail.
  • Aggravated misdemeanor

Iowa Code § 709.21. Invasion of privacy - nudity

  • Serious misdemeanor for a person to knowingly view, photograph, or film another nude or partially nude person if the other person does not know or consent to the viewing, photographing or filming, and has a reasonable expectation of privacy. 

Iowa Code § 728.12 Sexual exploitation of a minor

  • (1) Class C felony to employ, use, persuade, induce, permit, attempt to cause, etc. a minor to engage in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of a prohibited sexual act with intent, knowledge or reason to know that the act or simulated act may be photographed, filmed or otherwise preserved in a visual depiction.

Iowa Code § 709C.1
Criminal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus

  • Class B felony for person to engage in intimate contact with another person
    knowing that the person’s human
    immunodeficiency virus status is positive

Iowa Code § 726.2 Incest

  • Class D felony

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Iowa Code § 802.2 Sexual abuse—first, second, or third degree

  • (1) For sexual abuse in the first, second, or third degree committed on or with a person under 18, within 10 years after victim attains 18 years of age
  • (2) For any other sexual abuse in the first, second, or third degree, within 10 years after commission of the offense

Iowa Code § 802.2A Incest--sexual exploitation by a counselor therapist, or school employee

  • (1) For incest committed on or with a victim under 18, within 10 years after victim attains 18 years of age
  • (1) For any other incest, within 10 years after commission of the offense
  • (2) For sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee committed on or with a victim under 18, within 10 years after victim attains 18 years of age
  • (2) For any other sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee, within 10 years after victim was last treated by the counselor or therapist, or within 10 years after victim was enrolled in or attended the school

Iowa Code § 802.3 Felony, aggravated or serious misdemeanor

  • For any felony, aggravated misdemeanor, or serious misdemeanor, within three years after commission of the offense

Iowa Code § 802.4 Simple misdemeanor

  • For any simple misdemeanor, within one year after commission of the offense

Iowa Code § 802.6  Periods excluded from limitation

  • When a person leaves the state, the indictment or information may be found within the limitation periods set forth above after the person’s coming into the state, and no period during which the party charged was not publicly resident within the state is a part of the limitation.
  • The time within which an indictment or information must be found shall not include the time during which the defendant is a public officer or employee and the offense arises from misconduct relating to the duties and trust of that office or employment.

 

DNA EXCEPTION

Iowa Code § 802.2 Sexual abuse—first, second, or third degree

  • For all sexual abuse in the first, second, or third degree, within the later of (i) three years after the date the identity of the accused is established through the use of a DNA profile or (ii) the period set forth in the prior column, whichever is later.

Iowa Code § 802.10 DNA profile of accused

  • (2) An indictment or information may be pursued against only the DNA profile of the person sought, if the DNA profile has not yet identified a named individual.  This action tolls the limitation of an action under Iowa Code § 802.3. 
  • (3) However, an indictment or information must be found against a person within three years from the date the person is identified by the person’s DNA profile. If the action involves sexual abuse, Iowa Code § 802.2 governs.
 
 
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For reprint permission, please contact RAINN's Policy Manager, Rebecca O'Connor, at policy@rainn.org. Last updated: February 2014.
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