MASON CITY | A Britt man accused of sexually assaulting a girl in Hancock County has taken a plea deal.
Jeromie James Holland, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts second-degree sexual abuse, class B felonies, and two counts lascivious acts with a child – permit/cause child to fondle, class C felonies, Friday afternoon during a plea-change hearing at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse in Mason City.
Holland was initially charged with 28 felonies: 14 counts of second-degree sexual abuse and 14 counts lascivious acts with a child – permit/cause child to fondle in Hancock County District Court.
Rape and sexual assault are charged as sexual abuse in Iowa. Each count of second-degree sexual abuse carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, and each lascivious acts charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, Holland, who was arrested in November, admitted to police that he sexually assaulted a girl at least 14 times from May to November and made her touch his genitals.
During an interview with the Britt Police Department, Holland told officers he confessed in 2015 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, court documents said. His statement was confirmed by the Iowa Department of Human Services, which is involved in cases involving child abuse.
Additionally, Holland said he sexually assaulted two other girls under the age of 12 when he was 16 or 17 years old, court documents state.
He is being held in the Winnebago County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond. A no-contact order was filed Nov. 21.
According to the plea agreement, the state is recommending the two second-degree sexual abuse felonies be served concurrently, and the two lascivious acts with a child charges be served consecutively to the sexual abuse charges for a total of 45 years in prison. He’ll also be required to register as a sex offender for life and complete sex-offender treatment.
Under Iowa law, the second-degree sexual abuse charges, or class B felonies, carry a mandatory minimum of 70 percent, which means Holland would have to serve 17.5 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.
Holland’s sentencing is scheduled for April 8 in Hancock County District Court.