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State v. Reed

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 20, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BRANDON SEBASTIAN REED, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Joel W. Barrows, Judge.

         Defendant appeals his convictions and sentence for one count of indecent contact with a child and two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Bradley M. Bender, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary Miller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.

          VOGEL, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Brandon Reed appeals his convictions and sentence for one count of indecent contact with a child and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse. He asserts the jury's guilty verdicts were not supported by sufficient evidence. Additionally, he raises multiple ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims. We find sufficient evidence supports the verdicts and counsel was not ineffective on one claim, and we preserve the remaining ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims for possible postconviction relief.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On June 22, 2017, L.H., thirteen years old, visited Bettendorf for a wrestling camp. L.H. and three friends went to a pet store where L.H. first encountered Reed. Reed walked by L.H. and pinched the tip of L.H.'s penis over his clothes. L.H. testified at first he thought it was an accident, but Reed walked past L.H. again and rubbed the back of his hand against L.H.'s buttock. Then Reed, for a third time, walked past L.H. and pinched his penis again. L.H. told his friends, and eventually the teenagers left the pet store.

         Believing Reed left the area, the teenagers went to a fast-food restaurant next to the pet store, and L.H. went into the bathroom. Reed soon entered the bathroom, approached L.H., and touched L.H.'s penis. L.H. rushed out of the bathroom and reported the incident to an employee. The manager of the restaurant confronted Reed in the bathroom, told him to leave, and reported the incident to law enforcement. The manager testified it appeared Reed had an erection.

         On July 27, a police officer stopped Reed after running his license plate number and finding an outstanding warrant for a sex offense. Reed consented to a search of his vehicle. The officer discovered various items in the search, including cartoon-themed bed sheets functioning as the driver's seat cover, stuffed animals buckled up in the back seat, a "kid's painting" in the rear window that was visible from the outside, and a cartoon-themed backpack filled with condoms, lotion, hand warmers, lubricant, hand sanitizer, snacks, and other miscellaneous items.

         Reed was charged with two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree and one count of indecent contact with a child. In a November 10 motion in limine, Reed requested all items found in his car be excluded, asserting such items were not relevant. The district disagreed and allowed the evidence be admitted. A trial was held from November 13 to 15, and the jury returned guilty verdicts on all three counts. Reed appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         "We review sufficiency-of-the-evidence claims for correction of errors at law. We uphold a verdict if substantial evidence supports it." State v. Quinn, 691 N.W.2d 403, 407 (Iowa 2005) (internal citations omitted). "Evidence is substantial if it would convince a rational fact finder that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." State v. Biddle, 652 N.W.2d 191, 197 (Iowa 2002). "We review the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, including legitimate inferences and presumptions that may fairly and reasonably be deduced from the record evidence." Id.

         In addition, "[a] claim of ineffective assistance of counsel requires a de novo review because the claim is derived from the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution." Bowman v. State, 710 N.W.2d 200, 204 (Iowa 2006). "If an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim is raised on direct appeal from the criminal proceedings, we may decide the record is adequate to decide the claim or may choose to preserve the claim for postconviction ...


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