A 61-year-old man who reportedly admitted to having molested his young seven-year-old granddaughter may not have to serve even one day behind bars for the crime.
Dean Hilpipre, from Alden, Iowa, was arrested in August 2017 and was charged with two counts of second-degree sex abuse of a child younger than 12. When combined, the two charges together carried a possible penalty of about 50 years in prison.
Nine months after his paternal granddaughter told her older sister about the sexual abuse, and her older sister then reported him to a school counselor, he was arrested.
Shortly after, in an interview, the victim told investigators about how her grandfather had forced her into inappropriate touching and oral sex. She further told the police that the abuse took place over and over in various different places, such as his bedroom, where he had locked the door, or in a bathroom and also in nearby woods.
What outraged both the mother and the maternal grandmother of the victim is the fact that Dean may not have to go to prison at all.
"What's five years probation?" Kasey Hilpipre, the 34-year-old mother of the victim asked WHO-TV. "After five years the no contact order's done, then what's he going to do again? Is he gonna pick her up again and take her into the woods again and she may not come out? What justice is that? What safety is that for the remainder of her life?"
Deborah Yanna, the victim’s maternal grandmother, also seemed quite surprised to hear the details of the plea deal, which took place in December.
"I was just stunned," Yanna told the Des Moines Register. "At his plea-agreement hearing, I said, 'Why don't you just throw in a spa day?'"
Kasey and her mother also said the abuse has had a deep impact on the mind of the victim and she’s even scared to leave her front yard.
Both of them are now on a mission to ask members of the public to attend Dean's sentencing hearing, which is later in February, with the hope that they may convince the judge to not accept the plea deal's terms.
"This little girl has a heart and she has a soul and she has a little mind, and this disgusting human debris has broken her," said Yanna. "He won the Iowa Lottery. He's celebrating. He thinks he's terrific ... Where's her justice? Where's her celebration? The rest of her life she will always remember."
Dean reportedly recently won $100,000 in a Mega Crossword game.
Dean now appears to have changed his story of the events. In his latest interviews, he does not deny the allegations, but instead says that he does not remember them happening.
"If I did it, I deserve everything I get," he said.
"He received the lowest score possible, a minus 3, which makes him a 'very low risk'; his likelihood of future offending is .9 percent over five years," said state-approved psychologist Tracy Thomas of Dean in psychosexual evaluation documents.
The next hearing for the case takes place on February 23 at 10 a.m. at the Hardin County Courthouse in Eldora, Iowa.