ORANGE CITY—A 20-year-old Sioux Center man has been sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting a child.

Edgar Francisco Diego was sentenced on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Sioux County District Court in Orange City to:

  • A two-year term in a state prison for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor.
  • A 180-day term in the Sioux County Jail in Orange City for first-offense possession of a controlled substance — marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.

Sioux County attorney Tom Kunstle said Diego will serve the sentences consecutively for a total of nearly two and a half years behind bars.

After he is released from his incarceration, Diego will be required to register for the rest of his life on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — will take custody of Diego, a Mexico native, and begin deportation proceedings after he serves his jail and prison terms.

The Sioux Center Police Department took Diego into custody on Nov. 20 on a charge of third-degree sexual abuse, which is a Class C felony.

The case against Diego started Nov. 8, when law enforcement learned that he had committed a sex act with a minor, according to a criminal complaint.

The Sioux Center Police Department’s investigation revealed that Diego had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old child at his Sioux Center residence.

The child did not live at Diego’s residence, according to the criminal complaint, but elsewhere in Sioux Center. No gender was listed for the child.

The police department’s investigation also revealed that Diego admitted to the inappropriate sexual conduct. A search warrant executed at Diego’s home revealed marijuana and drug paraphernalia located inside his bedroom.

Diego also was charged with first-offense possession of a controlled substance — marijuana, a serious misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

According to a plea agreement, the felony charge filed against Diego was amended to assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor to which he pleaded guilty.

Diego could have been sentenced up to 10 years of imprisonment and faced a fine of $1,000-$10,000 if he had been convicted of the felony charge.

For the serious misdemeanor charge, which he also pleaded guilty to, he could have been sentenced to up to a year behind bars and faced a fine of $315-$1,875.

As for the simple misdemeanor charge, Diego could face up to 30 days of imprisonment in lieu of or in addition to a fine of $65-$625.

According to court records, he has pleaded not guilty to the simple misdemeanor charge and a pretrial conference in the case has been set for Tuesday, Feb. 26.