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Case No. 19-1613

State of Iowa
v.
Michael D. Montgomery

Michael Montgomery seeks further review of the court of appeals decision affirming his conviction for second-degree sexual abuse. Relevant to his application for further review, Montgomery argued on appeal that the jury rendered inconsistent verdicts by acquitting him of lascivious acts with a child while finding him guilty of second-degree sexual abuse and that State v. Pearson, 514 N.W.2d 452 (Iowa 1994) should be overruled to require that in order to commit a sexual act under the sexual abuse statute, the person must act with the intent, motive or purpose to sexually gratify himself or the victim. Montgomery next argued the district court abused its discretion when it refused to admit evidence that the victim was being sexually abused by someone else during the same period she alleged Montgomery was abusing her. The court of appeals stated the scope of the exception to the rape shield law that allows the court to admit “evidence whose exclusion would violate the defendant’s constitutional rights,” is unclear. The court of appeals ultimately determined the probative value of the evidence of the other abuser would have been substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice; thus, the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the evidence at trial.

County:
Sioux

Resister

State of Iowa

Applicant

Michael D. Montgomery

Attorneys for Resister

Sheryl Soich

Attorneys for Applicant

Michael J. Jacobsma

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

15-15-5

Sep 16, 2021 1:30 PM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-1613
Date Published:
Nov 19, 2021
Date Amended:
Jan 24, 2022

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-1613
Date Published:
Feb 03, 2021
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Julie Schumacher, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Schumacher, J., takes no part  Opinion by Greer, J.  (20 pages)

                A jury convicted Michael Montgomery of second-degree sexual abuse and acquitted him of lascivious acts with a child.  He appeals from his conviction, arguing (1) the jury rendered inconsistent verdicts and the court should overrule State v. Pearson, 514 N.W.2d 452, 455 (Iowa 1994), which provides that finding contact constitutes a “sex act” requires that the contact be “sexual in nature” but not that the act was done with the intent of sexual gratification; (2) the court erred in refusing to give a supplemental instruction after the jury asked for clarification on a jury instruction; (3) the court abused its discretion in excluding evidence under the rape-shield law; (4) the prosecutor engaged in misconduct by vouching for the complaining witness’s credibility during the State’s closing argument; and (5) the evidence presented at trial is insufficient to support his conviction and is contrary to the weight of the evidence.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no reversible error, we affirm Montgomery’s conviction of second-degree sexual abuse.  

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