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Ayrshire Man Sentenced Following Trial

By Staff | Mar 9, 2010

An Ayrshire man finally learned his fate last Friday following his conviction on sexual abuse and incest charges last Fall. District Court Judge Don E. Courtney sentenced 45-year old James Eugene Fay to a prison term of 60 years during in a sentencing hearing March 5 in the Palo Alto County District Court.

According to court documents, Fay was tried in the Palo Alto County District Court in November, 2009, on two charges of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, a Class B Felony, and two charges of Incest, a Class D Felony. The charges stemmed from an investigation, which began in early 2007 after Fay’s five-year old daughter, and four-year old son “began exhibiting troubling behavior consistent with children who had been sexually abused.”  Documents state that the children’s mother took the children to a mental health therapist, who contacted the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Abuse Investigators. As the investigation unfolded, other family members took custody of the two children in July of 2007 as James Fay worked under a court order with the Department of Human Services to regain custody of the children.

In April of 2008, James Fay was advised of his Miranda Rights, at which time he admitted during therapy to the abuse and related facts. Court documents indicate that James Fay admitted to his social workers that the incidents of abuse and incest took place from March of 2007 through July of that year, when the children were removed from his custody.

Fay was charged with the four offenses and placed in the Palo Alto County Jail to await trial, which began prior to Thanksgiving 2009. The trial lasted six days, with a jury convicting Fay on the abuse and incest charges.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing in the Palo Alto County District Court room, James Fay again denied any inappropriate contact with his children or sexual intent, which conflicted with his admissions to social workers in 2009. Additional testimony from law enforcement officers was also presented during the hearing, which Fay attempted to refute as well.

After consideration of the evidence and a pre-sentence investigation by the Department of Correctional Services, Judge Courtney sentenced Fay to serve two indeterminate terms of incarceration for a period not to exceed 25 years on each conviction of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, for a total of 50 years. Judge Courtney ruled that Fay shall be required to serve at least 70 percent of each of the terms before being eligible for parole.

Additionally, Fay was sentenced to serve two indeterminate terms of incarceration for a period not to exceed five years on each conviction of Incest, for a total of 10 years, plus fines in the amount of $750 on each charge, and 35 percent surcharge on each charge. In accordance with the pre-sentencing investigation recommendations, the prison terms were ordered to be run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

The 70 percent stipulation will require Fay to serve at least 17 and one-half years for each abuse conviction, for a total of 35 years, along with the two five year sentences on the incest charges. Fay would be 80 years of age when first eligible for parole, under the sentence handed down.

Fay was also ordered to pay full restitution, including witness fees, costs for various interviews, sheriff’s fees, room and board since Nov. 25, 2009 and other pecuniary damages, as well as court-appointed attorney fees and court costs.

As part of the sentencing, Fay was ordered to have no contact with the two children in the case while he is in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections. Fay was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA for profiling.

James Eugene Fay was remanded to the custody of the Palo Alto County Sheriff pending transportation to the Iowa Medical and Classification facility at Oakdale for intake in the Iowa Department of Corrections.

“I am very grateful to all the supporting agencies and their dedicated, experienced staff members in this case for their efforts in bringing this case to resolution,” noted Palo Alto County Attorney Peter C. Hart. “This is a sad situation for everyone involved. But in a rural area like Palo Alto County, it is only with joint efforts and mutual trust and cooperation between agencies that such consequences can be accomplished.”