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Case No. 17-1681

Bruce Spahr
State of Iowa


Bruce Spahr


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

R.E. Breckenridge

Attorney for the Appellee

Zachary Miller and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorneys General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Feb 20, 2019

            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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