Iowa woman accused of sexually assaulting child given probation

(Cerro Gordo Sheriff's Dept.)
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MASON CITY, Iowa (KWQC) – A woman accused of sexually abusing a 2-year-old child at her in-home day care has been given five years of probation.

Tawny M. Symonds, 31, of Charles City, Iowa, had been charged with sexual abuse and assault, but those charges were dropped in exchange for a child endangerment charge as part of a plea agreement.

The Globe Gazette, citing police documents, reports that Symonds had been accused of using an object to sexually assault a female child under the age of 3 in December 2016, causing "blunt force trauma" to the child's genital area.

At Monday’s hearing in which Symonds was given probation, the Globe Gazette reports the child’s mother gave an impact statement, saying about Symonds, "Just because she's a woman, I guess that's put to the side."

The mother also said “a plea deal is a slap in the face; [Symonds] isn't learning anything from this."

The Associated Press reports Symonds submitted a written Alford plea in Cerro Gordo County District Court to child endangerment.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state likely can prove the charge.

Symonds must pay more than $1,000 in restitution and is barred from contact with minors.