For immediate release – Tuesday, March 6, 2007.
Contact Bob Brammer – 515-281-6699.
Guilty Plea Entered by Kelly Cuperus in Sioux County
Statement of the Attorney General’s Office:
Des Moines. Kelly Cuperus entered a guilty plea yesterday in Sioux County District Court in Orange City to one count of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee. The plea was accepted by District Court Judge Jeffrey Neary. Sentencing was set for 9:30 a.m. April 18, in Sioux County District Court before Judge James Scott. Trial had been set for March 13.
Ms. Cuperus (DOB 10-12-67) had been a certified para-educator in the Boyden-Hull schools. Cuperus pled guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee, which alleged that between May 1, 2005, and March 15, 2006, she “committed sexual exploitation by a pattern or scheme of conduct to engage in sexual conduct with a student.” The Trial Information filed on March 27, 2006, included two counts of sex abuse in the 3d degree, three counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee, and three counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.
Sexual exploitation by a school employee is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7500. Cuperus entered the guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement with the prosecution, which was handled by the Attorney General’s Office at the request of the Sioux County Attorney. At sentencing, the prosecution will recommend that the judge suspend the five-year sentence and impose probation. However, the judge is free to accept or modify the recommendation. Even if the judge imposes a sentence of probation, Cuperus will be required to serve an additional ten years of probation after satisfying the original probation terms. Cuperus also will be required to register as a sex offender.
The Attorney General’s Office believes the plea and plea agreement are an appropriate disposition based on the facts of the case and the best interests of the victim.
On the Web: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org.