Accompanied by her lawyer Christopher Hagenow, left Mercedes Costoyas leaves U.S. District Court, Davenport in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday June 16, 2010 after pleading guilty to accessing the student loan records of Barack Obama. (Kevin E. Schmidt/Quad-City Times) Kevin E. Schmidt

A woman pleaded guilty in Davenport federal court Wednesday to accessing Barack Obama’s student loan records without permission.

Mercedes Costoyas, 53, of Iowa City, is one of nine people charged with exceeding authorized computer access.

The indictments were filed last month in U.S. District Court, Davenport. Each person faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, if convicted.

By pleading guilty, Costoyas still faces up to a year in prison. But her attorney, Christopher Hagenow, and prosecutor Joel Barrows said she likely faces zero to six months jail time.

She also faces deportation, according to discussion during the plea hearing, but Judge James Gritzner said “that issue is for another court on another day.”

Authorities did not specify a country.

Her sentencing is set for Sept. 24. Seven of the remaining defendants are set for trial Aug. 2. Arraignment for the ninth also is set for Aug. 2.

Costoyas and her attorney declined to comment about her intentions for accessing Obama’s student loan records.

The defendants worked for a Department of Education contractor in Coralville, Iowa, and each accessed the records on different dates between July 26, 2007, and March 13, 2009, court records state.

The others charged include Andrew J. Lage, 54, Anne C. Rhodes, Patrick E. Roan, 51, and Sandra Teague, 54, all of Iowa City; Lisa Torney, 49, and Gary N. Grenell, 58, both of Coralville; Julie L. Kline, 38, of West Branch, Iowa; and John P. Phommivong, 29, for whom no hometown was listed.

The records were accessed while Obama was a candidate for president, president-elect and after he took office, documents say.

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