WINNEBAGO COUNTY, IOWA – Originally, 19-year-old Jeremy Ray Vrieze had faced up to 20 years in prison after being charged with two class C felony counts of 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse. The charges came after an investigation by Lake Mills Police Department into sex acts that allegedly occurred between, then 18-year-old, Vrieze and at least one 12-13 year old victim in August 2011.
Vrieze was arrested on a warrant and returned to Winnebago County on June 4th, 2012 where he had remained in county jail until after sentencing last week.
In an effort to avoid a trial on the charges, Vrieze’s council and the Winnebago County Attorney’s Office came to a plea bargain agreement. As part of the plea bargain agreement the Winnebago County Attorney’s Office would drop one class C felony count of 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse and motioned the court to amend the remaining count to a lesser class D felony count of Soliciting-Lascivious Acts with a Child.
On August 7th Assistant Chief Judge James M. Drew approved the application by the Winnebago County Attorney’s Office to amend the one charge to the lesser offence during a plea change hearing.
At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, October 16th, presiding District Court Judge Rustin T. Davenport dismissed the final class C felony count of 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse count.
Judge Davenport sentenced Vrieze to serve up to 5 years in prison with credit for time served on the amended class D felony count of Soliciting-Lascivious Acts with a Child. Vrieze was ordered to treatment in the state sex offender’s program and to pay $501.06 in court cost and legal fees. Judge Davenport then suspended a $750 civil penalty in the case.
Vrieze must also register as a sex offender for 10 years in accordance with Iowa sex offender sentencing guidelines. A protective no contact order was issued against Vrieze for undetermined amount of time.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department transferred custody of Vrieze the following day, October 17th, to Iowa’s Medical & Classification Center at Oakdale Prison in Coralville, Iowa.
With the 135 days credit for time served in Winnebago County Jail the Iowa Medical & Classification Center has Vrieze scheduled to be released September 10th, 2014 after serving less than 23 months in state prison. Totaling two and a half years between county jail and state prison as punishment for Vrieze’s sex crime against a 12-13 year old victim.
Assistant Chief Judge, James M. Drew: District 2A was appointed to the bench in February of 1999. District Court Judge, Rustin T. Davenport: District 2A was appointed to the bench in October of 2010. Both judges in this case face retention vote in the general election on November 6th.