Court: Iowa can’t require sex offender treatment for prostitution

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An Iowa man who was required to complete sex offender treatment got that requirement reversed by the Court of Appeals.

Dale Stringer pleaded guilty to prostitution after he was busted offering $40 to an undercover police officer in exchange for sex.  His sentence of one year in jail was suspended, and he was put on probation for two years and ordered to complete sex offender treatment.

Stringer contended prostitution was not a sex offense under Iowa law, and that the state was not justified in requiring sex offender treatment. When he applied to have the requirement removed, he was denied.

The district court said Stringer needed sex offender treatment.  Stringer was convicted for false imprisonment in 1982, and the victim was a woman with whom he had been intimate.  A psychological evaluation said Stringer also described “a number of other prostitution-related encounters.”

Stringer also submitted a psychological evaluation report that said, if treatment was required, that individual therapy would be more beneficial to him than the state’s sex offender treatment program.

The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned the district court’s ruling, agreeing with Stringer that prostitution is not an offense the legislature included in Iowa’s sex offender law.  The Appeals Court ruled that the court’s psychological evaluation and Stringer’s history did not lead them to conclude he qualified as a sex offender.

The Iowa Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday, January 23, 2014.

Read more:  Iowa Appeals Court ruling in Dale Stringer case