from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Monica
defendant appeals his sentence for stalking and extortion.
A. Wooden of Reynolds & Kenline, L.L.P., Dubuque, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
Sifuentes appeals his sentence for stalking, in violation of
Iowa Code section 708.11(3)(c) (2017), and extortion, as a
habitual offender in violation of Iowa Code section
711.4(1)(c) and 902.8. We find a pre-sentence investigation
(PSI) was properly ordered and considered by the district
court. We also find the district court did not abuse its
discretion by imposing consecutive sentences. We affirm the
Background Facts and Proceedings
was charged with stalking, extortion, as a habitual offender,
and invasion of privacy. He pleaded not guilty on March 2,
2017. A plea agreement was ultimately reached in which
Sifuentes would serve five years imprisonment for extortion
and two years for stalking. The State agreed to withdraw the
habitual offender enhancement and dismiss the charge of
invasion of privacy. The sentences would run consecutive to
each other and consecutive with other Dubuque County charges.
Sifuentes pleaded guilty on May 8.
plea hearing, the district court conducted a full colloquy.
The colloquy also encompassed charges of interference with
official acts causing bodily injury and no-contact-order
violations. During the plea hearing, the district
court stated, "I assume we'll order a PSI?"
Trial counsel responded:
We're hoping that since he'd already had a PSI done
in the Cerro Gordo case, that we could schedule [sentencing]
in two weeks and then the victim would be available and
hopefully they could just add these charges to his existing
judge ordered the Cerro Gordo County PSI for use at a
combined sentencing hearing. The PSI was obtained, and a copy
was reviewed by the sentencing judge. The sentencing hearing
took place June 12. The district court heard statements from
the victim, prosecutor, defense counsel, and Sifuentes. The
district court sentenced Sifuentes to two years in prison for
stalking and five years in prison for extortion, to be served
consecutively. The charges were also to run consecutively
with a sentence resulting from the Cerro Gordo County
convictions. Sifuentes now appeals.
Standard of Review
sentence is within the statutory limits, we review a district
court's sentencing decision for an abuse of discretion.
State v. Seats, 865 N.W.2d 545, 552 (Iowa 2015).
"Thus, our task on appeal is not to second-guess the
decision made by the district court, but to determine if it
was unreasonable or based on untenable grounds."
Id. at 553. "In other words, the ...