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Case No. 19-1047

State of Iowa
Francisco M. Cardona


State of Iowa


Francisco M. Cardona

Attorney for the Appellee

Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Ashley Stewart, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Apr 15, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J. (10 pages)

            Francisco Cardona appeals his convictions for second-degree sexual abuse, alleging the witness testimony, because of inconsistencies and contradictions, was insufficient to support the verdict.  He also alleges ineffective assistance of counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: The witness testimony was sufficient to convince a rational factfinder of Cardona’s guilt.  The inconsistencies and contradictions highlighted by the defense do not lead us to apply the rarely-invoked doctrine used in State v. Smith, 508 N.W.2d 101 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993).  The witness testimony provided overwhelming evidence of Cardona’s guilt.  A motion for a new trial or in arrest of judgment based on the weight-of-the-evidence standard would thus have been meritless.  Consequently, trial counsel had no duty to make such a motion.  Additionally, there is no reasonable probability of a different result had counsel made such a motion, and Cardona is therefore unable to prove prejudice.  Accordingly, we reject his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim.

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