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Case No. 17-0531

State of Iowa
Paul R. Knudsen


State of Iowa


Paul R. Knudsen

Attorney for the Appellee

Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 07, 2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Grundy County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.  JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED FOR ENHANCEMENT HEARING, SENTENCING, AND JUDGMENT.  Heard by Vogel, P.J., Tabor, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J. (22 pages)

            Paul Knudsen challenges his convictions and sentences for three counts of sexual abuse in the third degree and one count of lascivious conduct with a minor.  Knudsen challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support one of his convictions for sexual abuse in the third degree, claims the court wrongly applied the rape-shield law to prevent the admission of evidence of prior allegations of sexual abuse made by the complaining witnesses, and maintains the court abused its discretion in preventing the defense’s expert from testifying that three-way sexual abuse involving the mother is rare.  He also maintains he did not knowingly and voluntarily enter into the stipulation that he was subject to the sentencing enhancements.  OPINION HOLDS: Substantial evidence supports Knudsen’s challenged conviction for sexual abuse in the third degree, the district court did not wrongly apply the rape-shield law to prevent the further introduction of evidence regarding prior sexual abuse perpetrated against A.M., and the district court did not abuse its discretion when it prevented the defense’s proposed expert from testifying how “rare” the type of sexual abuse described by A.M. occurs.  However, because we cannot say Knudsen entered into the prior-offense stipulation knowingly and voluntarily, we reverse the judgments and sentences of the district court.  On remand, Knudsen may enter into a new stipulation regarding the prior offense compliant with State v. Harrington, 893 N.W.2d 36, 45–47 (Iowa 2017), or may choose to proceed to trial to determine whether he meets the enhancement requirements.

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