A Centerville sex offender says a requirement to confess to past sex acts in completing sex offender treatment is a violation of the Fifth Amendment, which protects individuals from self-incrimination.
On Monday, Timothy Wood, 27, of Centerville, filed an application for post-conviction relief in the Appanoose County District court.
In the filing, he said he was being unlawfully held in custody and that complying with the Department of Correction’s requirements would force him to confess to other crimes and give the state evidence to prosecute him.
Wood was originally charged in December 2010 with third-degree sexual abuse, at the time 18 years old. Police said Wood had sexually abused a 13-year-old girl in November 2010 on two days at the Centerville City Park.
He ultimately pled guilty to lascivious acts with a child. Wood was sentenced July 2011 to community service, which he completed, and received a suspended prison sentence, year-long stay at a residential facility in Ottumwa, five years probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Five months later, Wood violated probation according to a probation/parole officer at the Ottumwa residential facility, by violating orders, participating in sexual misconduct, furnishing false statements and failing to comply with special conditions and treatment.
A judge in 2012 following a probation revocation hearing opted to impose the original 10-year state prison sentence, sending Wood to prison. Wood has served his time for the original Appanoose County charge but is now serving a two-year sentence following his rules violations that occurred at the Ottumwa residential facility. Online Iowa Department of Corrections records indicate a tentative discharge date of Feb. 22.
After his release, Wood will be under lifetime supervision by the DOC.
Additionally, Wood is to complete sex offender treatment by the DOC, which he said requires a full confession of all past sexual behaviors to fully complete the program. Wood argues this confession is made with no condition of immunity and that he was informed of a new allegation he would have to confess to, and that the allegation does rise to the level of a crime.
Wood argues in his motion that “a confession to this act, even under the guise of treatment, may be all the state needs to convict” him of the crime. In addition to the jail time of the potential crime, Wood said, it could cause him to lose “any chance of early release” for his current sentence.
Wood said he has already completed the sex offender treatment program once, but the DOC required him to go through the program again when he began serving prison time for his probation violation that occurred at the Ottumwa residential facility.