The crime of kidnapping in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code section 710.1 as the crime a person commits when the person either confines a person or removes a person from one place to another, knowing that the person who confines or removes the other person has neither the authority nor the consent of the other to do so; provided, that to constitute kidnapping the act must be accompanied by one or more of the following:
1. The intent to hold such person for ransom.
2. The intent to use such person as a shield or hostage.
3. The intent to inflict serious injury upon such person, or to subject the person to a sexual abuse.
4. The intent to secretly confine such person.
5. The intent to interfere with the performance of any government function.
Kidnapping in Iowa comes in various decrees (or levels of seriousness) which depend upon the facts of the alleged kidnapping. A person can also be required to register as a sex offender if convicted of kidnapping in a case where there was a sexual component to the kidnapping.
Kidnapping in the First Degree in Iowa
Kidnapping is kidnapping in the first degree when the person kidnapped, as a consequence of the kidnapping, suffers serious injury, or is intentionally subjected to torture or sexual abuse. Kidnapping in the first degree is a class “A” felony, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in Iowa.
Kidnapping in the Second Degree in Iowa
Kidnapping where the purpose is to hold the victim for ransom or where the kidnapper is armed with a dangerous weapon is kidnapping in the second degree. Kidnapping in the second degree is a class “B” felony, punishable by a 25 year prison sentence under Iowa law.
Kidnapping in the Third Degree in Iowa
All other kidnappings are kidnappings in the third degree. Kidnapping in the third degree is a class “C” felony, which carries a 10 year prison term in Iowa.
As the foregoing makes clear, kidnapping in Iowa is a serious crime that can result in a person spending the rest of their life in prison upon conviction. As such, it is of the utmost importance to seek an attorney at once if accused of kidnapping.