from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Paul L. Macek,
defendant appeals his convictions of ten counts of sexual
exploitation of a minor, challenging the jury instructions
and the admission of photographic evidence. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Maria Ruhtenberg,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel L. Mullins, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Bower, J., and Scott, S.J.
a jury trial, Loren Long was convicted of ten counts of
sexual exploitation of a minor, in violation of Iowa Code
section 728.12(3) (2015), for possessing child pornography.
On appeal he asserts his counsel was ineffective for failing
to object to the marshalling jury instruction he asserts
violates the unanimity rule. He also claims the court abused
its discretion in admitting an excessive amount of
photographs of child pornography and child erotica. In
addition, Long filed a pro se brief appearing to challenge
the sufficiency of the evidence he possessed the child
pornography. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm his
Background Facts and Proceedings.
fall of 2014, Long became a resident at Freedom Home
Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping
those who are homeless and suffering from addiction start
over with life. After several months, Long violated the house
rules and was subject to immediate dismissal. After he went
to work, staff with the ministry entered his room to pack up
his belongings. During that process, the staff located a tote
containing a large quantity of printed pictures, some of
which contained photographs of children in a sexual manner.
The staff contacted police, who obtained a search warrant and
seized the pictures and a computer used by the residents.
State filed ten counts against Long for his possession of
child pornography. Prior to trial, Long filed a motion in
limine seeking to restrict the number of photographs that
could be shown to the jury. The court restricted the State to
fifty pictures it claimed amounted to child pornography and
five pictures of child erotica, which was less than the 124
total pictures the State intended to enter into evidence. The
case proceeded to jury trial in February 2017, and the jury
returned a guilty verdict on each of the ten counts. Long was
sentenced to two years in prison on each of the ten counts
and those terms were ordered to run consecutively for a total
term of twenty years. He now appeals.
Scope and Standard of Review.
review de novo Long's claim his counsel was ineffective
in failing to object to the marshalling jury instruction.
See State v. Ondayog, 722 N.W.2d 778, 783 (Iowa
2006). The district court's decision to admit
photographic evidence is reviewed for abuse of discretion.
State v. Hunt, 801 N.W.2d 366, 374 (Iowa Ct. App.
2011) ("The determination to admit or to refuse
admission into evidence of the photographs lies initially in
the discretion of the trial court, and we will not reverse
except when an abuse of discretion is shown, as where the
evidence is clearly irrelevant or prejudicial."
(citation omitted)). Finally, to the extent Long raises a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to prove he
possessed the child pornography, our review is for the
correction of errors at law. See State v. Ortiz, 905
N.W.2d 174, 179 (Iowa 2017).
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-Jury Instruction.
Code section 728.12(3) provides, in part: "It shall be
unlawful to knowingly purchase or possess a visual depiction
of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or the
simulation of a prohibited ...