from the Iowa District Court for Keokuk County, Randy S.
defendant challenges his conviction. CONVICTION CONDITIONALLY
AFFIRMED; RULING ON MOTION VACATED; REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Martha J. Lucey,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
Brown appeals his conviction for sexual abuse in the second
degree, in violation of Iowa Code sections 709.1 and 709.3
(2014). Brown claims his trial counsel was ineffective in
failing to file a motion to suppress, or object to, the
admission of statements Brown made while being questioned by
law enforcement. Brown also asserts the district court
applied the wrong standard in ruling on his motion for new
trial. We conclude Brown was not prejudiced by his
counsel's performance, but we agree the district court
applied the incorrect standard when ruling on Brown's
motion for a new trial. Accordingly, we conditionally affirm
Brown's conviction but remand for application of the
proper standard to Brown's motion for a new trial.
Background Facts and Proceedings
2013, law enforcement was contacted concerning an allegation
Brown had sexually abused a minor. Following an interview
with the victim, police obtained a search warrant for an
apartment Brown was staying at and seized computer equipment
Brown used to show pornography to the victim. While executing
the warrant, law enforcement located Brown walking down the
street and asked if he would be willing to accompany them to
city hall. Brown agreed.
hall, law enforcement informed Brown of his Miranda
rights and provided him with a written copy. Following
Brown's written waiver, the officers began questioning
Brown. Over the first eighty minutes of the
interview, Brown and the officers discussed the general
events surrounding the allegations, eventually drilling down
to the specifics of the allegations. After being shown the
search warrant, Brown asked, "Can I get a lawyer?"
One officer responded, "Sure." The officer then
searched Brown's bag and asked, "So do you want to
continue talking to us about this?" Brown responded,
"We can continue talking but there is really nothing
else to say." Over the next thirty minutes, Brown denied
that he had committed any inappropriate acts. He also
discussed various topics unrelated to the allegations with
the officers. Brown then left the building.
December 2, 2014, the State charged Brown with one count of
sexual abuse in the second degree. The video recording of the
interview with Brown was admitted at the bench trial. The
court found Brown guilty as charged. Brown filed a motion for
a new trial, which claimed the district court had admitted
improper evidence. In ruling on Brown's motion, the court
The court has-prior to this date, I have reviewed the motions
and the resistance. I've reviewed Iowa's Rules of
Criminal Procedure 2.242(6). Also reviewed State v
Robinson and reviewed the motion and applied the
standard of review that is set forth in State v
Robinson, and I've reviewed it in the light more
favorable to the State without regard to contradictions and
inconsistencies and assisted by all reasonable inferences.
By any standard that I look at the Motion for New Trial, I
must state that I cannot grant it. There is substantial
evidence in the record. This Court is the one that entered
the ruling. I believe it's beyond a reasonable doubt, and
so I ...