News and Press Releases

Alleged Black Hawk County Sex Offender Charged With Failing To Register And Escape

October 5, 2012

Contact: Peter Deegan

Howard Sawyer, age 38, from Black Hawk County, has been charged with failure to register as a sex offender and escape from custody. The charges are contained in an Indictment filed October 3, 2012, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

The Indictment alleges that, between September 2009 and February 2011, Sawyer knowingly failed to update his registration as a sex offender. The Indictment alleges that Sawyer was required to register because of his 1998 Buchanan County conviction for sexual abuse in the third degree. The Indictment also alleges that, in September 2009, Sawyer escaped from the Waterloo Residential Correctional Facility.

If convicted, Sawyer faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, $500,000 in fines, $200 in special assessments, and at least 5 years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment.

Sawyer appeared on October 4, 2012, in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was held without bond. Sawyer’ next appearance for a detention hearing is set for October 9, 2012.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the United States Marshals Service and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Court file information is available at The case file number is CR 12-2029.



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