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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76368 Find in a Library
Title: Iowa's Inadequate Protection Against Child Molesting
Journal: Iowa Law Review  Volume:66  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1981)  Pages:623-637
Author(s): J H Andersen
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 15
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This comment examines Iowa's proscription of sexual behavior between adults and children, highlighting the statute's inadequate protection of children; the gap in the protection afforded by statute is discussed in the context of State v. Baldwin.
Abstract: 'State v. Baldwin' (1980) is a significant case for several reasons. The case presented the Iowa Supreme Court with its first opportunity to determine the scope of behavior encompassed by the phrase 'sex act' as used in Iowa's recently revised child molestation statute. In addition, the case illustrated a fundamental flaw in the statutory language. Fondling a young girl's breast was the major aspect of the contact between adult and child in State v. Baldwin. The trial court found the defendant guilty. On appeal, Baldwin challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support a finding that the solicitation was for a sex act, which is defined by statute only in terms of sexual contact between the genitalia or mouth of one person and the genitalia or anus of another person or artificial sexual organs used by either. The Iowa Supreme Court reversed Baldwin's conviction because it could not find the Baldwin's conduct was prohibited by analyzing the meaning of the statute with the help of intrinsic aids, and it could not have found the conduct proscribed had the court relied on legislative intent as evidenced by extrinsic aids. Because the language of the statute does not protect children from all types of adult-child sexual contact harmful to those children, amendments to increase the scope of the statute are needed. Children will continue to suffer physical and psychological damage from adult sexual advances until a more comprehensive child molestation statute is promulgated. The comment includes 123 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child molesters; Criminal codes; Iowa; Judicial decisions; Sexual assault; State supreme courts
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