A western Iowa man scheduled to undergo a second trial on sex abuse charges next week has instead made a plea bargain that keeps him out of jail. Cass County Prosecutor Dan Feistner, Thursday, said 53-year old Roger Allen Ericksen, of Lewis, agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree.
Ericksen, whose first trial late last Summer ended in a hung jury, had faced 50 charges associated with the 2011 sexual abuse of a 14-year old girl living in a foster home run by Ericksen and his wife. The other 49 charges were dismissed.
Ericksen waived his rights Tuesday, and was sentenced to a maximum of 10-years in prison, with the term suspended. Judge James Richardson instead placed the man on two-years of supervised probation. As part of the terms of his probation, Erickson is required to register as a sex offender in the State of Iowa, provide a DNA sample, have no further contact with the victim for 10-years, enroll in and complete a Sex Offender Treatment Program, and reside at the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) in Council Bluffs, until his term is satisfied.
In the meantime, he will be held in the Cass County Jail until space is available at the RTF. In addition, a special sentence was imposed committing Ericksen into the custody of the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of his life, with eligibility for parole as provided under the Code of Iowa. Feistner told KJAN News if Ericksen successfully completes the terms of his probation, the 10-year sentence will no longer be held in reserve.
However, if he commits a serious crime, the entire 10-year sentence could be invoked. The Special Sentence means he is technically “on parole” with the Department of Corrections for the rest of his life. If he commits a crime that draws their attention, the DOC can invoke a variety of punishments, at their discretion.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic