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State v. Bunker

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 12, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JUSTIN L. BUNKER, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge. A defendant contends his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to seek suppression of his statements to police and the district court considered an improper factor in sentencing him.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Melinda J. Nye, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Linda M. Fangman, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Mullins, JJ.

OPINION

VAITHESWARAN, J.

Justin Bunker appeals his judgment and sentence for two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of enticing away a child. He contends his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to seek suppression of his statements to police. He also asserts the district court considered an improper factor in sentencing him.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Twenty-four-year-old Bunker met a twelve-year-old girl online. Bunker engaged in oral and vaginal sex with the girl.

Several months later, a Waterloo detective received a tip that an underage child--later identified as the twelve-year-old girl--posted a topless picture of herself online. The detective contacted the child's mother and obtained consent to assume the child's identity. The detective communicated with Bunker about engaging in anal sex and asked Bunker to bring a bag of Skittles on his next visit.

Bunker arrived at a predetermined time and location. In his truck was a bag of Skittles, which the detective used to confirm he was the same person she communicated with online. Bunker was arrested and taken to the police station for questioning. During a recorded interview, Bunker admitted to committing multiple sex acts with the child. He also admitted to anticipating a sexual encounter with her on the day of his arrest.

The State charged Bunker with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of attempting to entice away a minor. At trial, the State played a redacted version of the police interrogation.

The jury found Bunker guilty as charged. The district court sentenced him to two prison terms not exceeding ten years on the sexual abuse counts and one prison term not exceeding two years on the remaining count. The ...


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