In a jury trial moved to the Bremer County courthouse in Waverly, James Hubert Exline, 47, of Jefferson was found guilty June 6 of one count of sex abuse sex abuse- second degree and one county of sex abuse- third degree.
Jury selection began Monday. After hearing testimony on Tuesday, the jury deliberated for 45 minutes before reaching a unanimous verdict Wednesday.
The victim of the crime is Exline’s 12-year-old daughter Paige Exline. The abuse occurred from June 2016 to April 2017, while Paige was a student at Greene County Intermediate School.
The abuse ended when Paige went to live with her grandmother in Guthrie Center. Her grandmother’s home was burned the next month, killing Paige and a cousin. An Ames man who is known to James Exline has been charged with two counts of murder-first degree, two counts of attempted murder and arson in connection with the fire.
A change of venue first set Exline’s trial for Mitchell County (Osage), and then Cerro Gordo County (Mason City). Jury selection was held May 1 in Mason City, but during the first day of testimony the Honorable James H. Drew called a mistrial because of inadmissible testimony by witness. Judge Drew quickly set a new trial for June 4 in Bremer County.
Information that Exline previously┬á had been found guilty of two sexual predatory offenses in 2009 was not allowed at the trial to assure he was given a fair trial without prejudice on the part of the jury. Judge Drew held a bench trial June 7 to receive and rule on evidence of those two convictions. His previous convictions were established at that trial.
Sentencing is set for James Exline Aug. 6 at 10:30 am in the Greene County courtroom. He is being held without bond in the Greene County jail. He could be sentenced to as many as 75 years in prison.