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Case No. 17-1681

Bruce Spahr
v.
State of Iowa

Appellant

Bruce Spahr

Appellee

State of Iowa

Attorneys for Appellant

R.E. Breckenridge

Attorneys for Appellee

Zachary Miller and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorneys General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
17-1681
Date Published:
Feb 20, 2019
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mahaska County, Randy S. DeGeest, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (9 pages)

            Bruce Spahr appeals the order denying his application for postconviction relief (PCR), challenging his conviction for second-degree sexual abuse.  He asserts claims of ineffective assistance of his trial, appellate, and PCR counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: Spahr’s trial counsel breached a duty in failing to object to testimony that impermissibly bolstered the credibility of the complaining witness.  Because witness credibility played an integral part in the jury’s decision-making, the impermissible testimony undermines confidence in the jury’s verdict.  Spahr has demonstrated ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s judgment, remand for entry of an order vacating Spahr’s conviction and sentence, and grant him a new trial.

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