Cedar County sheriff, deputies demand county attorney steps down for mishandling of sexual abuse cases

Cedar County Attorney Jeff Renander mishandled several criminal cases causing victims to be re-victimized, deputies say.
Credit: KCRG

CEDAR COUNTY, Iowa — The sheriff of Cedar County, Iowa and all 13 deputies are calling for the county's attorney to step down after they say he mishandled several criminal cases, including sexual abuse cases, some with children involved. 

The sheriff's office signed a petition describing Cedar County Attorney Jeff Renander's alleged mishandling of cases where he "made egregiously inappropriate comments to the victim of a sexual abuse case he recently handled."

The petition says Renander victim shamed people in his cases and minimized the "traumatic experiences of multiple sexual abuse victims, to include child sexual abuse victims."

Read the full petition here.

A Cedar County detective who signed the petition said the deputies have considered calling for Renander's resignation for several months.

The detective indicated there was a specific case from mid-February that compelled him and the deputies to take a stand.

In the case, Renander accepted a plea deal for a victim involving a defendant  who was facing up to 10 years in jail for felony third-degree sexual abuse. 

Court records show the defendant was sentenced to 90 days in jail and will not have to register as a sex offender.

"We have a county attorney who's not doing his [job]," said the detective. "He's afraid of going to trial so he just pleads everything down."

No legal actions have been filed against the attorney. 

Read the full petition here.