An Iowa man who took a plea deal that saved him from jail time after he abused a 1-year-old little girl could now be facing prison time, but only if a judge agrees.
Ottumwa Courier reports that Kraigen Grooms was 19 in 2016 when he pleaded guilty to engaging in a lascivious act with a child. He was given probation and spared jail time after a Wapello County Attorney agreed to give Grooms a plea deal. As part of the deal, Grooms is required to register as a sex offender for life and ordered to supervised probation for life.
The family of the toddler girl apparently agreed to the plea deal and said they were more concerned with him getting help.
In January, Grooms, who’s now 22 and lives in Jefferson County, Iowa, failed to update his information. A requirement under the terms of his probation states that Grooms must update his location and employment information with Iowa’s sex offender registry every three months. According to FOX 17 Nashville, Grooms has repeatedly broken probation rules, including failure to keep full-time employment.
In March, Grooms pleaded guilty to violating his probation. A hearing into whether the man will be sent to prison for the violation has been postponed until April 22. The delay marks the third time Grooms’ hearing has been postponed this year.
According to court documents, the sexual assault initial incident took place in April 2014, in Ottumwa, while Grooms filmed it. The video showed Grooms abusing a toddler girl, then streaming the video online.
Wapello County Attorney Gary Oldenburger, who agreed to give Grooms a plea deal, defended his actions. In a press release, the lawyer wrote that Grooms was “tricked into believing that he was interacting online with a female his own age.” In turn, he abused the toddler at the request of two men who posed as a teen girl in an attempt to make and distribute child pornography.
The lawyer also stressed that Grooms was 16 when the incident took place, and at an age when rehabilitation was more promising. He added that Grooms was considered a “low risk offender” after a psychological assessment.
“While the abuse Grooms committed is disturbing, it would not be accurate to describe it as ‘raping a toddler’ as it has been described on certain websites,” Oldenburger added. “The child was not injured, no pain was inflicted, and the child was too young to even be aware of what was happening.”
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Kaigen Grooms/Police Handout]