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A 36-year-old Winthrop man, who pleaded guilty to three counts of lascivious acts with a child, is going to prison for up to 25 years.

Matthew Barth, formerly of Independence, was sentenced for the crimes in Buchanan County District Court on Tuesday. According to court documents, the charges are connected to inappropriate sexual contact Barth had with the child on or between January 1, 2015 and September 2, 2019.

According to court records, the incidents took place at multiple locations in Buchanan County and they all involved a child under the age of 12.

Barth was initially charged with 12 counts of second-degree sexual abuse when he was arrested. Barth was taken into custody in September 2020, following a joint investigation by Independence police and Buchanan County sheriff's officials.

Court records show that Barth agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. He entered an Alford plea to reduced charges of lascivious acts. Under the Alford plea, Barth didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged he faced a conviction if the matter went to trial.
Barth pleaded guilty to the three counts of lascivious acts during a court hearing on Nov. 2.

Following completion of his 25-year prison sentence, Barth will be on the sex offender registry and remain under supervision as if on parole for the rest of his life. He was also ordered to pay various civil penalties, victim restitution and submit a physical specimen to the State of Iowa for DNA profiling.

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