CLINTON — A man ordered in 2014 to serve as much as 75 years in prison for sexually abusing and exploiting a child is requesting post conviction relief.
Jason Boutwell, now 37, was sentenced in 2014 for seven counts of second-degree sexual abuse and 60 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, production.
Attorney Peter Stiefel filed a recasted and amended application for post conviction relief for Boutwell against the state of Iowa. The application states Boutwell directly appealed his conviction and sentence. Boutwell raised the claims he received ineffective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to move for a judgment of acquittal on the ground there was only sufficient evidence for 16 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and that there was insufficient evidence for five of the seven counts of second-degree sexual abuse. The Court of Appeals denied the claims. The Supreme Court denied his application for further review.
The application filed grounds for relief, stating Boutwell received ineffective assistance of counsel when trial counsel allegedly failed to object to the state’s leading questions during its direct examination of the victim; failed to object to a Department of Human Services employee providing assistance to the victim during her testimony; failed to investigate the credibility of the victim regarding her recanting prior accusations she had made against Boutwell; failed to object to jury instructions on the grounds they allowed the jury to consider multiple theories of culpability when the evidence only supported some of the theories; failed to challenge the victim’s testimony regarding her ability to see Boutwell on the guest computer from her bedroom in the home; failed to present him with any of the state’s evidence against him prior to his rejection of the state’s plea offer; failed to effectively present evidence regarding the workings of the computers in the home; failed to investigate other males who were present in the home during the time the victim suffered the abuse; failed to object to the jury instructions on the grounds they did not include special interrogatories regarding how its theory for each count it found Boutwell guilty of; and failed to object to improper statements made by the DHS employee during her victim impact statement.
The application states Boutwell requests the court vacate his convictions and order a new trial. He requests a new sentencing hearing on his claim regarding the statements made by the DHS employee at the sentencing hearing.
Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow submitted an answer to the application for post conviction relief, requesting the application be denied. Barlow, the respondent, denied all allegations found in the initial application and all subsequent applications for post conviction relief.
The court this month found in the interest of justice the pretrial conference and trial currently scheduled should be continued for ongoing discovery issues. A pretrial conference is set for 8:30 a.m. April 20. Post conviction is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 2.