CLINTON — A DeWitt man was granted a deferred judgement for a felony charge.
Johnathon A. Hardin, 19, appeared in Clinton County District Court on Thursday before Judge Nancy Tabor for sentencing. He had judgment deferred for a charge of lascivious acts with a child. He originally was charged with three counts of sexual abuse in the third degree.
Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow requested a suspended sentence and resisted the application for a deferred judgement. He also requested Hardin spend 30 days in jail for a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Attorney Harold Delange represented Hardin and asked Tabor to defer judgement. He stated he agreed with Barlow that this is a difficult decision. He told the court that Hardin had no other criminal record. He referenced Hardin’s age and family support as reasons for asking for a deferred judgement.
Hardin was then given the opportunity to address the court. He apologized, stating he realized what he did was wrong and admitted he needed to start taking more responsibility for his actions. He asked the court “for forgiveness for my transgressions.”
After hearing from each side, Tabor decided to give Hardin a deferred judgment for the felony charge. She cited his age, lack of other criminal history and his family support as main reasons for the deferred judgement. She did warn Hardin that he would have consequences, even those not involved in the criminal system. Even with judgment deferred, Hardin must register as a sex offender and submit a DNA sample.
According to the affidavit, on Oct. 22 an officer interviewed a 13-year-old girl at the request of the Iowa Department of Human Services. During the interview, the girl stated that on or about Sept. 8, she and Hardin engaged in sexual intercourse behind some trees near her residence in Clinton.
The affidavit states that on Nov. 8 an officer interviewed Hardin, who voluntarily disclosed that he had engaged in sexual intercourse behind some trees approximately four to five blocks from her residence. Hardin also stated during the interview that he knew the girl was only 13 or 14 years old at the time of the incident.
According to the affidavit, on Nov. 19 an officer conducted a follow-up interview with the 13-year-old girl. During the follow-up interview, the girl reaffirmed what she had previously told the other officer regarding the sex act between her and Hardin.
Herald Staff Writer John Rohlf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.