Friday, October 2, 2009

Jack Leonard Hays - Repeat Sex Offender - Charged with rape

A convicted sex offender who allegedly kidnapped and raped a Des Moines woman for three hours this week had been given a fraction of a sentence prosecutors had requested earlier this year after the man failed to register with the state.
Jack Leonard Hays, 35, was given an 89-day jail sentence for failing to register as a sex offender in Polk County, according to court records. He was released in late July.
Hays was charged Sunday with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and second-degree sexual abuse.
Prosecutors had asked a judge to impose the maximum two-year prison sentence for Hays for failing to register as a sex offender.

"We took the position that he should have gone to prison and that he was at risk to re-offend," Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said.
Polk County District Associate Judge Colin Witt, who oversaw the case, said he could not comment because of judicial ethics rules.
Hays was convicted in 1995 on charges related to the sexual assault of a 9-year-old, and sentenced to a decade in prison. He was later arrested and convicted in 2008 in Washington County for failing to register as a sex offender. The Iowa Court of Appeals threw out that conviction.
In the past year, Hays moved to Polk County. On Sunday, he was arrested after allegedly assaulting a woman who was friends with his wife.

Hays' accuser, Francis Brazzle of Des Moines, has coped with the ordeal well and hopes to find a "silver lining," said her husband, Christopher Brazzle.

"It's a heavy thing, seeing someone you love go through this," Christopher Brazzle said. "But she's had really, really good support."

Hays allegedly broke a back-door window at the Brazzles' Des Moines home and crawled into bed with Francis Brazzle as she slept. When she realized that Hays was not her husband, she told him to leave.
Hays then began to choke her and raped her several times in a period of about three hours, according to court records. Brazzle tried several times to escape when Hays fell asleep, but he woke up and choked her again.
She finally persuaded Hays to leave by telling him that her husband would arrive home soon, police said. She told him she would not say anything, "as long as he just left."
Rape victim advocates said the case reinforces the perception among some that the courts seek to preserve the rights of criminal defendants over the accusers.

"It is difficult for victims when they really have little control over the system," said Sandra McGee, a supervisor with Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services. "I believe it has an impact, and probably keeps some victims from coming forward or completely trusting the system to help them receive justice."
Judge Witt was ranked third-highest of all district court judges statewide who faced retention votes in 2008, according to the Iowa State Bar Association. The 97.4 percent rating was based on a survey of lawyers who graded his legal knowledge, fairness and other factors.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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