Anastasia Basquin, chief victim witness coordinator and community liaison for the Linn County Attorney's Office, received the Exemplary Service Award from the Linn County Board of Supervisors during Linn County’s employee recognition breakfast this week for her work in finding and helping to close a loophole in the criminal justice system. The loophole allowed persons arrested for the crime of sexual abuse to post bond before a magistrate had an opportunity to enter a No-Contact Order for the protection of the alleged victim. This loophole was not providing the necessary safety for alleged victims against alleged predators charged with sexually abusing them.
When Basaquin discovered this loophole, she knew legislative action was needed to protect victims and she began advocating for change. She brought the issue to the attention of the (now) Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks while he was serving as First Assistant and was also a member of the Iowa County Attorney's Association Legislative Committee. Basaquin proposed a change in the law that would require those arrested for these offenses to appear in front of a magistrate so a No-Contact Order could be entered before they could secure pre-trial release. Maybanks brought this proposal to the attention of the committee and the committee made it a priority for the 2022 legislative session. A new law was ultimately passed because of Anastasia's advocacy.
On May 2, 2022, Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law HF2079, which enacted this much-needed change in the law.
Anastasia is pictured with Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks who nominated her for the Exemplary Service Award.