The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled tape-recorded evidence in a 2005 sexual exploitation case can be used in court. A 42-year-old who taught in a special program for Marshalltown students with behavior or social problems was accused of having an improper relationship with one of his 13-year-old students.
The girl’s father was suspicious of his daughter’s relationship with teacher Jeffrey Spencer and secretly recorded phone calls — calls that included "inappropriate sexual content" according to investigators. Spencer was charged with sexual exploitation and indecent contact with a child.
A district court ruled the tape recordings could not be used as evidence against Spencer because they had been made without his consent, and the girl didn’t know about the taping either. But the state’s highest court has ruled that a parent can secretly record conversations involving their own child. The case now goes back to the district court level where a judge will decide how and when to proceed on the case.