May 15, 2018 - 2:34 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Hawarden man who was sentenced to prison last month after pleading guilty to child endangerment charges, has decided to appeal his prison sentence.

Matthew Spaans, along with his wife, Nina, each pled guilty to four counts of Child Endangerment in Sioux County District Court. According to the Sioux County Attorney’s Office, the prosecution had recommended that the couple each be sentenced to a four-year prison term. Although the Court followed that recommendation for Matthew Spaans, his wife received a suspended sentence, allowing her to serve a period of probation with the possibility that she resides at the residential treatment facility in Sioux City, as determined by her probation officer.

Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says Matthew Spaans has appealed his sentence, and was released on an Appeal Bond until his appeal can be heard.

According to Kunstle, the sentences stem from a case that arose in February of last year when the couple’s children began telling authorities that various injuries they had received over the last two and a half years were inflicted by Matthew Spaans. Kunstle says that all children were removed from the couple’s home at that time.

Before February 2017, Kunstle says the children were claiming their injuries were caused by accidental means, though some were, according to medical authorities, clearly inflicted. He says the children were fearful to tell the truth as their mother, Nina Spaans, threatened they would never see each other again. Nina reportedly further directed them to share false explanations for their injuries when questioned by school officials.

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