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A North Iowa court found in favor of a girl and her mother in a civil lawsuit filed against the girl’s grandfather who sexually assaulted her.

Dean Hilpipre, who received probation in 2018 for sexually assaulting his 6-year-old granddaughter, was ordered to pay $10 million to the girl and her mother, Kasey Hilpipre, in a default judgment.

 A default judgment is granted in favor of a party due to the inaction of another party in a lawsuit.

Hilpipre, 62, was initially charged with two counts of felony second-degree sex abuse, which a plea deal amended to a lesser charge of lascivious acts with a child. In Iowa, sexual assault and rape are charged as "sexual abuse."

The abuse occurred in Hilpipre's home in Alden and in the woods behind that property.

Dean Hilpipre and his attorney, Maurice Spencer, failed to comply with requests for discovery, according to court documents. Court documents detail several instances where he disconnected his phone and did not respond to written requests.

Meanwhile, a judge in March 2018 placed a temporary injunction on the $100,000 Hilpipre won in the lottery about a month before he was sentenced at the Hardin County Courthouse to five years' probation. 

That move turned out to be too little, too late.

Less than an hour before the April 1 hearing, Hilpipre's attorney Spencer filed a motion looking for an extension, citing a "family emergency" as the reason for a lack of response.

He also responded to the lottery injunction the same day, saying that $70,000 of the $100,000 were initially deposited into Marlys Hilpipre’s bank account, Dean Hilpipre’s wife. The other $30,000 was paid to the IRS.

Of the $70,000, $55,000 was spent on losing lottery tickets purchased over the last year. The remaining $15,000 was spent on the house, car and bills, according to the document.

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At oral arguments, Kasey Hilpipre’s attorney expressed sympathy for Spencer's emergency but responded that the lawyer did not call, write or email in response to requests for discovery.

Judget Stoebe agreed.

“This is not an academic exercise,” Judge Stoebe said. “Due to the vague description of Spencer’s medical emergency, Spencer has failed to establish why he could not answer the discovery or communicate with counsel. If Spencer had abandoned his law practice temporarily, then he should have withdrawn from the case.”

The court also fined Dean Hilpipre of $2,500 for violating court procedure by not responding, but said it lacked enough information to also fine his lawyer. 

In documents filed March 22 by Kasey Hilpipre's Des Moines-based attorney Roxanne Conlin, the victim “has a right to have her abuser punished in some way for his intentional tortious conduct.”

“The criminal justice system did virtually nothing to punish him and Plaintiff can never recover if her abuser is not made to pay for his intentional torts against her,” Conlin said, citing the plea agreement and probation sentence.

 

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Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.

 

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