Robert Stanley Hoffard, Alta, may spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually abusing a juvenile girl repeatedly for nearly four years.
On Monday, District Court Judge David A. Lester sentenced Hoffard, a 52-year-old tree trimmer, to five ten-year prison terms, to be served consecutively, for a total term of up to 50 years in prison for statutory rape. Hoffard will be eligible for parole consideration.
Hoffard was arrested in February after allegedly being caught by the mother of the victim having intercourse with the child, and allegedly admitting having multiple sexual encounters with her. Hoffard was charged with two counts of 2nd degree sexual abuse for incidents in 2008 and 2009, starting when the child was 11 years old; and 10 counts of 3rd degree sexual abuse for incidents in 2011-12 when the child was 14 years old. The victim, whose family were friends with the Hoffards, reported that there had been over 50 incidents of sexual contact.
Hoffard originally pled not guilty, and a trial was scheduled for June, later delayed until July. Just over three weeks before the trial was to begin, Hoffard decided to plead guilty. Under the plea agreement, he was to plead guilty to five counts with the rest of the 12 counts dropped. Three of the counts were to bring sentences of not to exceed ten years each, with the other two to be determined at sentencing.
Hoffard was credited for the 170 days he spent in jail, unable to make bond. His attorney had sought a reduction in his $150,000 bond, claiming he was not a risk to flee and that the high amount was a violation of the defendant's constitutional rights. The State resisted, noting that Hoffard's wife had told the county attorney's office that she did not want him to return. The prosecution argued that setting Hoffard free would present a safety risk, saying that it was troubling that Hoffard continued to see sexual contact with a child as a consensual relationship.
Hoffard will also be required to register as a sex offender for life, as well as being subject to a special parole for life if released from incarceration. He is also required to provide a sample of his DNA for profiling and to pay court costs, sheriff's reimbursement and restitution to the victim's compensation fund. Hoffard was represented by Bryan Goodman of the Iowa State Public Defender's Office. Handling the case for the State of Iowa was Liz LaPole of the Buena Vista County Attorney's Office.
Also sent to prison from a Buena Vista County courtroom on Monday were Shaun Michael Arispe, age 25, and Levi Luke Jeffrey, age 40. Arispe was found to have violated his probation by continuing to use methamphetamine, resulting in the imposition of his original 10-year prison term for conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. Jeffries plead guilty to theft in the second degree and was sentenced to a term of not to exceed five years in prison for his July 27, 2012 robbery of Northwest Bank, in Storm Lake.