County Attorney praises courage of sexual abuse victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

County Attorney praises the courage of child abuse victims

Lonny Otto Bathen Lonny Otto Bathen

Buchanan County Attorney, Shawn Harden, is praising the courage of three child sexual abuse victims, two of whom came forward years later to report the abuse perpetrated against them by Lonny Otto Bathen of Independence. Between the three victims, the abuse may have occurred over a span of 15 years, says County Attorney Harden. The child sexual abuse of a third victim occurred until February of 2011, Harden told KWWL-TV. All three victims were under the age of 12 when the sexual abuse against them started.

As a result of a long and thorough investigation by Buchanan County authorities, 42-year old Lonny Bathen has been sentenced to prison on five counts of child sexual involving three victims, at least one of whom is now an adult.

In a press release, Buchanan County Attorney, Shawn Harden, says Bathen received the maximum possible sentence on all charges Tuesday in Buchanan County District Court.

Back on March 8, A Buchanan County jury found Lonny Bathen guilty on three counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree involving a child under the age of 12. In that case, the judge sentenced Bathen to three consecutive 25-year prison terms. He must serve at least 52 and a half years before being eligible for parole.

In a second case involving a child under the age of 12, Bathen pleaded guilty to two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree. The Buchanan County Judge once again imposed the maximum penalty on Lonny Bathen. In that case, Lonny Bathen will serve two consecutive 25-year prison terms, or 50-years in prison. He will have to serve at least 35 years before being eligible for parole.

In a third case, Bathen pleaded guilty to Lascivious Acts with a Child, and the judge sentenced him to a 10-year prison term. In this case, the abuse against the victim had continued until February of 2011.

The Buchanan County Attorney's Office says that after serving the prison terms, Bathen will be on lifetime parole and must register as a sex offender.

The third case originated in February of 2011.  Harden says the first victim came forward because he feared he was not the only victim.  Harden praised the victims for coming forward to report the child sexual abuse, which occurred when they were under the age of 12. Two of the victims are now adults.

In the first case, the victim said the abuse continued 4 times a week for about 4 years.

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