Floyd County sex abuse conviction overturned

Barry Holden
Barry Holden

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the sex abuse conviction of a Charles City man.

32-year-old Barry Jerome Holden Jr. pleaded guilty in November, 2015, to one count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor.  In exchange, charges of 3rd degree sex abuse and 1st degree burglary were dismissed.  Authorities say that in July, 2013, Holden entered the property belonging to another person and forced a woman to perform a sex act against her will.

He was given a two year suspended prison sentence and placed on probation, with the judge telling Holden the probation would run concurrent to the probation he was serving for another conviction.

However, that probation was due to end just a few weeks after Holden’s guilty plea and Holden says when he pleaded guilty, he thought the second probation would end at the same time.  When he found out it would not, Holden appealed his conviction and sentence.

With Holden’s defense attorney admitting that he incorrectly told Holden that both terms of probation would end at the same time, the Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday vacated the guilty plea and sentence in the case and sent it back to Floyd County District Court for further proceedings.  The appeals court ruled that his lawyer’s error prevented Holden from making a knowing and intelligent decision to plead guilty.

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