The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the child endangerment convictions of a Rockford woman, but sent the case back to district court for resentencing after determining the district judge abused his discretion by imposing certain conditions as part of her probation.
Stephanie Fatland was arrested in 2014 and charged with three felony counts of child endangerment resulting in serious injury after allegedly admitting to shaking a baby on three separate occasions. As part of a plea agreement, Fatland pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment causing bodily injury, with the third charge being dropped.
District Judge James Drew sentenced Fatland to two five-year prison terms, both suspended, and sentenced her to five years probation on each charge. Fatland later filed a motion to reconsider a condition of probation, stating Drew had improperly infringed upon her fundamental right to bear children by the condition on her probation prohibiting her from becoming pregnant. Drew denied that motion, but the Iowa Court of Appeals in its ruling issued today says Drew abused his discretion by imposing conditions prohibiting Fatland from becoming pregnant and from having unsupervised contact with children under the age of five.
The Court of Appeals vacated the sentences and remanded the case back to district court for resentencing.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City