ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A Rock Valley man was sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman on New Year’s Day 2022.

Joe Kats, 45, of Rock Valley, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary with intent to commit sexual abuse and to three-degree sexual abuse as a habitual offender, according to a release from the Sioux County Attorney’s Office.

On New Year’s Day, Kats was running a bus to take bar patrons home and took the victim to their residence at some point, the release states. Kats then entered the house without the victim’s consent and performed sex acts on them.

The press release notes that the victim could not consent and that the victim reported that they had been sexually assaulted to the police when they realized what had happened.

Initially, Kats had initially been charged with first-degree sexual abuse due to a history of prior convictions. If Kats had been convicted of this crime, he would have faced life in prison.

In March 22, Kats took a plea deal that involved in him pleading guilty to first-degree burglary with intent to commit sexual abuse. He also pleaded guilty to three-degree sexual abuse.

On Monday, Kats was sentenced to an indeterminate prison term not to exceed 25 years. As part of the deal, he will have to serve at least three years in prison.

If Kats is placed on parole he could be subjected to lifetime supervision. He could also be evaluated under the ‘sexually violent predator’ chapter of Iowa Code Chapter 229a.

The case was prosecuted by Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle and investigated by the Rock Valley Police Department.