CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge has ruled it was legal to put a former band teacher on probation rather than imprisoning him for sexual abuse of an underage girl.


Floyd County Attorney Rachel Ginbey had asked the judge in September to review the suspended 10-year sentence given in April 2016 to Benjamin Thompson, who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a 15-year-old in Floyd County. Ginbey says the sentence violated an Iowa law requiring that teachers, as mandatory reporters of child abuse, be imprisoned if they're convicted of sexually abusing children.

Judge Gregg Rosenbladt said in his ruling last week that he found no evidence that Thompson was under contract as a teacher at the time of the offense in June 2011. Thompson began teaching in the Pella district in August 2011.

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