Branstad wants immediate action on Nicoletto loophole

Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Friday to overturn the conviction of a former Bloomfield basketball coach who had sex with a 16-year-old girl on his team, saying coaches without teaching licenses are not considered school employees and therefore cannot be convicted.

In a statement Monday, Branstad urged lawmakers to pass legislation to include school coaches in the law to protect Iowa students from sexual exploitation.

Branstad says action should be taken now, while the Legislature remains in session.

Democratic State Representative Curt Hanson told KTVO this week that he wants the loophole closed as well.

Hanson, who represents Bloomfield, says he isn't sure there is enough time left in the session to pass a bill.

The session has no specific end date, but lawmakers will stop receiving expense payments after April 22.

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