AP NEWS

Judge won’t close sentencing hearing in molestation case

December 28, 2017

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has refused to close a sentencing hearing for a woman charged with sexually abusing a child at her Mason City in-home day care.

Thirty-one-year-old Tawny Symonds had submitted a written Alford plea in Cerro Gordo County District Court to child endangerment after prosecutors agreed to drop sexual abuse and assault charges. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state likely can prove the charge.

Her attorney had moved to close the sentencing, but state prosecutors objected.

Symonds’ sentencing has been rescheduled to Feb. 12.

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