Des Moines man sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexual assault, burglary

Published 6/6/2024 1:50:51 PM

A Des Moines man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to sexual assault and burglary for incidents last September in Altoona.  

Kainon Bounlye Viphongxai, 18, admitted that he had committed the offenses on Sept. 8, 2023. Early that morning, Altoona police responded to reports of multiple burglaries, gunshots, and other problems in a west-side neighborhood. At one residence, a child reported that someone had entered her room and sexually assaulted her.  

The defendant was identified based on Facebook photos posted by Altoona police.  

Mr. Viphongxai pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree burglary, all C felonies. The state agreed to dismiss other charges as part of the agreement. 

District Court Judge David Nelmark ordered Mr. Viphongxai to serve the four counts consecutively, for a total of 40 years. He also must register on the Sex Offender Registry and will be under the court’s supervision for the rest of his life.    

The Polk County Attorney’s Office honored the girl for her bravery and honesty in a ceremony after the sentencing. "We can’t keep Polk County safe without people like you, who have the courage to tell the truth,” County Attorney Kimberly Graham told the girl. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant County Attorney Meggan Guns, with assistance from Kayla McKee. The investigation was led by Lt. Steven Harris and Sgt. Mark Harmon of the Altoona Police Department.