Published June 2014
The Iowa Legislature unanimously passed House File 2474 in April. This is an act that expands the definition of who is a “school employee” under the state’s sexual exploitation statute to include “a person issued a coaching authorization under section 272.21, subsection 1.” This bill, which was signed by the governor, was presented in the wake of the Iowa Supreme Court’s Decision in State of Iowa v. Patrick Ryan Nicoletto. The Court in Nicoletto held that a 30-year-old assistant high school girls’ basketball coach who had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old player could not be convicted of sexual exploitation because he did not fit the statutory definition of “school employee.” HF2474 is meant to fill the hole that was created by the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling. Now, anyone with a coaching authorization would fit the definition of “school employee” under the statute.