from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County,
Richard H. Davidson (motion), and James S. Heckerman (trial),
Taylor appeals following convictions for six counts of sexual
abuse in the third degree and three counts of lascivious
conduct with a minor. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Mary K. Conroy,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., Bower, J., and Mahan, S.J.
B. Taylor appeals following convictions for six counts of
sexual abuse in the third degree involving two alleged
victims, S.Z. and C.W., and three counts of lascivious
conduct with a minor, S.Z. Taylor argues the court abused its
discretion in consolidating the cases involving the different
minors, trial counsel was ineffective in numerous respects,
and the sentence imposed was illegal and an abuse of
discretion. Because we find no abuse of discretion in the
court allowing the cases to be tried together, the record is
not adequate to address the ineffectiveness claims, and the
sentencing challenges are not ripe for review at this time,
we affirm the convictions.
lived in a residence with Connie and her husband, Kevin;
Connie's daughter, Patty; and Connie's grandchildren,
S.Z., C.W., and W.N. Though S.Z. and C.W. are biological
siblings, S.Z. had lived with Connie most of her life and was
adopted by Connie prior to the events at issue here. Taylor
is not related to any of the others with whom he lived. He
has lived with Connie since 2003, and Connie views Taylor as
a father figure.
17, 2016, sixteen-year-old S.Z. arrived at school tearful and
upset. She reported to the school counselor that Taylor was
touching her inappropriately. The department of human
services was contacted and an investigator asked S.Z. if she
wanted to be taken back to Connie's. S.Z. stated she
"didn't want to be molested anymore."
Detective Hayley Bloom spoke with Taylor about S.Z.'s
allegations, Taylor stated "maybe when I hug her
possibly. Accidently maybe hit her boob or something."
Taylor told police he thought S.Z. might have fabricated the
accusations because she wanted to live with her father and
because she did not like her grandmother's rules.
months after S.Z.'s allegations, police received a report
that Taylor had abused S.Z.'s brother, C.W. C.W. had run
away from Connie's residence in December 2015 when he was
in ninth grade and was fifteen years old. C.W. hitchhiked to
South Dakota, where he began to live with his biological
father and stepmother. In August 2016, C.W. took his
stepmother's vehicle and left a suicide note behind. He
was located in Wyoming later that day where the vehicle had
run out of gas. C.W. was hospitalized and while there
disclosed he had been sexually abused when at his
2016, the State charged Taylor concerning conduct related to
S.Z.-two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree and three
counts of lascivious acts with a minor. In August, the State
charged Taylor concerning conduct related to C.W.-six counts
of sexual abuse in the third degree, which was later amended
to four counts.
State moved to consolidate the cases. Taylor objected,
arguing the cases were unrelated, had different victims, and
consolidation would be highly prejudicial to him. After a
hearing, the court allowed consolidation.
trial, C.W. testified Taylor had abused him throughout
seventh, eighth, and ninth grades (until C.W. left the final
time). C.W. stated Taylor would use his hand to touch
C.W.'s penis, which occurred on more than one occasion.
Taylor also made C.W., on more than one occasion, use his
hand to touch Taylor's penis. When C.W. would object,
Taylor threatened to tell Connie that C.W. was hurting the
other minors in the household. C.W. testified Taylor was the
main reason he kept trying to run away.
testified Taylor was a grandfather figure. She testified he
started touching her breasts when she was eleven years old
and continued to do so until she was sixteen. S.Z. stated
Taylor would touch her breasts with "[h]is hands and his
mouth"; he would make her "[t]ake [her] shirt off
and [her] bra, " to let him "see her breasts";
and Taylor would watch her shower at times. S.Z. testified
that on at least two occasions Taylor touched her vagina with
his fingers. She recounted the second time occurred
"[o]n his chair in the living room" when she was
"[m]aybe 15" and a freshman in high school. She
stated Taylor used his fingers to touch her vagina and
"his fingernails were very long" and "it
hurt." She testified she told him to stop but he did
not. Further, S.Z. testified that when she was thirteen or
fourteen Taylor made S.Z. touch his penis with her hand. S.Z.
stated Taylor told her she should take pictures of her
breasts for him and that he wanted to "jump her
bones." S.Z. also stated Taylor showed her pornography
on his computer and offered to buy her a sex toy. Taylor told
S.Z. that "he would get in a lot of trouble" if she
told anyone, and she promised not to tell. S.Z. did not think
Connie would believe her if she reported what happened. S.Z.
said she "did not feel like [she] could say no to
testified Patty once asked her if anything was going on
because Patty had seen Taylor touch S.Z.'s breast. S.Z.
told Patty "nothing was happening" because S.Z. did
not want Patty to know she was being abused. S.Z. had
promised Taylor she would not tell, and she testified
"it's not really right to break your promise."
testified she asked S.Z. about an incident when she observed
Taylor touch S.Z.'s breast. S.Z. told her mother it was
an accidental touching, and Patty did nothing more. When
asked to describe what she saw, Patty stated, "[I]t was
like a clockwise turn (indicating) and then he finished the
testified and denied inappropriately touching either of the
minors or having them touch him. As to Patty's
observation of him touching S.Z.'s breast, he stated,
"It would be virtually impossible" to cup
S.Z.'s breast as ...