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Case No. 18-2239

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

State of Iowa
John Charles Donahue

Defendant appealed the judgment and sentence entered on his conviction for third-degree sexual abuse. See Iowa Code § 709.4(1)(a)(2017). He contended the district court erred by prohibiting his trial counsel from cross-examining the complaining witness about another allegation of abuse made by the witness. Defendant also claimed the district court submitted an erroneous jury instruction, and the verdict was not supported by sufficient evidence. The court of appeals affirmed. Defendant requests further review.



State of Iowa


John Charles Donahue

Attorneys for the Resister

Richard Bennett
Douglas Hammerand

Attorneys for the Applicant

Christine E. Branstad
Nathan A. Olson

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule


Jan 20, 2021 1:30 PM


Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 26, 2021
Date Amended:
Jun 01, 2021

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jul 22, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Audubon County, Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (14 pages)

            A defendant appeals his conviction for sexual abuse in the third degree.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly applied Iowa’s rape shield law to preclude defense counsel from exploring an uncharged allegation of sexual abuse on cross-examination.  Defense counsel’s objection to Jury Instruction No. 20 did not sufficiently apprise the trial court of the error alleged on appeal, and thus error is unpreserved with respect to that argument.  We find the evidence sufficient to support the conviction.

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