November 28, 2016
A judge this morning sentenced a 31-year-old Westside man to the minimum allowable amount of prison time for rubbing his clothed genitals with the hand and foot of a then-12-year-old child relative two years ago.
Jeromie Kramer will serve up to 10 years in prison for the crimes. He faced up to 20 at his sentencing hearing today. Those incarcerated in Iowa prisons often serve about half of their sentences because they get credit for good behavior.
Kramer, who was found guilty in October by a judge of two felonies, maintained his innocence today.
“I’m a very loving husband and father,” he told District Judge Gary McMinimee, who decided he was guilty. “I’m not sure how or why my actions were taken the wrong way. I did not do what was alleged.”
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 rubbing himself.
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.
Kramer’s victim had asked McMinimee for leniency, but it wasn’t possible under Iowa law for Kramer to merely get “some jail time” as the girl requested in a typed letter.
Kramer is 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 because the crimes are considered “forcible felonies.”
“I never wanted to press charges or have this incident reported in the first place,” the girl wrote.
The girl did not report the incident to police, but she wrote about it in a personal journal that her father discovered several months later.
Kramer’s first attorney — who was court appointed and paid by the state — used the letter to ask for a new trial, but McMinimee denied it.
Last week, Kramer’s new attorney — a West Des Moines lawyer who is not state-paid — asked again for a new trial, alleging that a substantial conflict of interest was overlooked.
A woman appointed to be an advocate for the victim — what is called a guardian ad litem — represented Kramer in an adoption proceeding two years ago.
“There is a substantial risk that confidential factual information” the guardian previously obtained from Kramer might have been used to convict him, Kramer’s new attorney, Alexandra Frazier, wrote.
Frazier, however, was unable to show this morning that the potential conflict had jeopardized Kramer’s right to a fair trial, and McMinimee denied the request for a new one.
Kramer is a married father of three young children, one of whom was born not long before his conviction in October.
He will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
With his newly hired attorney, Kramer is expected to appeal his convictions.