November 4, 2016
Jeromie Kramer should not serve a years-long prison sentence for sexually abusing a 12-year-old child relative two years ago, that child wrote to a judge who will decide Kramer’s fate.
A jury found Kramer, 31, of Westside, guilty of two felony crimes in October. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
“I never wanted to press charges or have this incident reported in the first place,” the girl wrote in a letter that became part of the public court record on Wednesday. “I feel positive that Jeromie’s behavior will not repeat itself, and I am confident that the incident was a one-time event that will not take place again.”
The girl testified at Kramer’s trial that he often gave her foot and hand massages, and that they lay on a couch together in December 2014 when she dozed and awoke to find Kramer abusing her.
Kramer has claimed that he merely fell asleep as he massaged and that the girl’s hand and foot must have innocently fallen into his lap.
“I understand that Jeromie made a mistake, and I feel that he has learned from his wrongdoings,” the girl wrote. “I am able to forgive him for this traumatic event that occurred to me and move on with my life in a positive way.”
The girl did not report the incident to law officers. Rather, she wrote about it in a personal journal that her father discovered several months later.
Kramer is the father of three young children.
“I grew up in a very disruptive family without an active father, so it saddens me to think these three children could lose a significant amount of time away with theirs,” the girl wrote.
Kramer’s attorney seized on the letter to ask for a new trial, but District Judge Gary McMinimee denied the request.
“Whether a victim wishes to press charges or to have a criminal act reported is not relevant,” McMinimee wrote. “There is nothing in the letter to suggest the witness is recanting her testimony or claiming she held back material testimony. Indeed, a fair reading of the letter is that it is a reaffirmation of her trial testimony.”
Kramer waived his right to a jury trial and had McMinimee decide whether he was guilty.
McMinimee wrote in his decision that he is “firmly convinced that the touching was not accidental.”
Kramer was guilty of sexual abuse and lascivious acts with a child. Both are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and Kramer must go to prison under Iowa law because the crimes are considered “forcible felonies. McMinimee cannot suspended the sentences.
Prison inmates often serve a little less than half of their total possible sentence.
McMinimme will decide on Nov. 14 whether Kramer should face up to 10 or up to 20 years in prison — whether Kramer will serve the sentences concurrently or consecutively.