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Judge spares prison for Iowa teen who raped toddler girl in live video — and plotted to assault boy

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An Iowa teenager who recorded live streaming video of himself raping a toddler will not spend any time in prison after pleading guilty.

CORRECTION: The judge who handed down the sentence was misidentified in an earlier version of this story.

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Kraigen Grooms admitted to raping a 2-year-old girl in April 2013, when he was 16 years old, while another man in New Orleans watched and recorded the abuse, reported Ottumwa Radio.

Investigators believe the assault was premeditated and that Grooms had targeted a 3-year-old boy for a similar assault.

A man who operates a Facebook group called MissingCases.com helped investigators identify Grooms as the assailant after sharing a photo of him, reported the Ottumwa Evening Post, which led to multiple tips within an hour from the teen’s friends.

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“It’s sad, he is such a young kid,” said Tim Caya. “Usually when you hear about this, it is old guys. It makes you wonder what was going on in his life to get him to this. I’m glad I helped catch him, but it makes you wonder about what is going on these days with kids doing this at such a young age.”

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Grooms — who was arrested in March 2014, when he was 17 — was initially charged with second-degree sexual abuse, a class B felony that carries a potential 25-year prison term.

He pleaded guilty July 25 to a lesser charge of engaging in a lascivious act with a child.

Grooms, who also goes by the name Kraigen Simmers, will not spend any time in prison after Judge Randy Degeest handed him a 10-year suspended sentence.

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The teen was released from jail following his guilty plea, after spending more than two years in juvenile detention and then the Wapello County Jail.

He underwent multiple psychological examinations while jailed, court documents show.

Grooms will be required to register as a sex offender for life, and he could be ordered to spend 10 years in prison if he fails to comply with the terms of his release.

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Editor’s note: The sentencing judge was misidentified in an earlier version of this story. Judge Randy Degeest, not Judge Myron Gookin, presided over Grooms’ sentencing hearing. Both judges have been involved in this case, and Gookin was inaccurately identified as the sentencing judge in local media reports. We regret the error.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart

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On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.

After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you,  you f**king n****r."

Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"

"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"

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‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling

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Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.

One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).

"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."

"None," Davis replied.

"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.

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2020 Election

Trump is doing everything he did in 2016 to get elected — and it’s failing this time: columnist

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On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Dan Balz wrote that President Donald Trump is relying on the same old bag of tricks that let him lurch blindly to a surprise victory in 2016 — but that that playbook is unlikely to get him elected again, let alone deliver sound domestic or foreign policy.

"After a week in which the threat of recession rocked global financial markets, his trade war with China showed no signs of progress and the government of Israel got into a nasty dispute with two members of Congress, President Trump went to bed Thursday night with other weighty issues on his mind. 'Great news,' he tweeted. 'Tonight we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena [Southern New Hampshire University] in Manchester!'" wrote Balz. "This is the frivolous mind-set of the president of the United States. Trump’s flurry of statements over the past few days have brought into focus once again something fundamental about him: He has little understanding of what it means to govern. He would rather tweet from the bleachers."

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