Student faces felony sexual-abuse charge

A Simpson College senior has pled not guilty to third degree sex abuse, a class C felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison.

According to Warren County District Court records, Steven E. Terlouw was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Pleasantville High School, where he was working as a student teacher.

At the time of the arrest, according to court records, Terlouw confessed to engaging in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl in Warren County in November 2001. Terlouw, a 23-year-old physical education major, allegedly told authorities that he believed the victim was 16 at the time the act was committed.

According to Iowa Law, a person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the victim is 14 or 15 years of age and the perpetrator is four or more years older than the victim.

Terlouw’s position as a student teacher in the Pleasantville School District has been terminated. According to Dave Isgrig, Pleasantville superintendent of schools, Terlouw had served as an assistant coach for the junior high basketball team. At the time of the arrest he was working as a student teacher in the physical education program at the junior and senior high school.

According to Cris Scase, Iowa assistant attorney general, there are no automatic disqualifiers for Iowa Teaching license applicants with criminal convictions. However, Scase said that the application process requires applicants to list such convictions, and the board will consider the nature and seriousness of the conviction, how recently it occurred and the degree of rehabilitation. Scase said the licensure board would “look long and hard” at a sex abuse conviction.

Terlouw’s pretrial conference has been set for June 24. The trial date is July 10, 2002. His attorney declined comment on the case.