Exline appeals conviction on felony sex abuse charges

James Exline, 46, of Jefferson, who was sentenced last month to up to 75 years in prison after being found guilty by a jury of sex abuse against his 12-year-old daughter, has appealed his conviction to the Iowa supreme court.

Exline filed the appeal Aug. 30 on his own behalf. He wrote that he had ineffective representation by his court appointed attorney who allegedly failed to cross examine witnesses on his behalf, and failed to meet his needs during the trial and depositions, which may have changed the outcome of the trial.

Exline listed more than 50 examples of times witnesses’ testimony at trial did not match their depositions and questions he thinks his attorney should have asked during cross examination. He claimed the victim, who died in a house fire that has been ruled an arson, lied repeatedly about him and family issues, and that other relatives also lied about him.

He also claimed he wasn’t given a fair trial.

Near the end of the document, Exline wrote, “Major problem with this case is that before the trial even started, in the court of opinion, many already considered me guilty because of the charge, the media, and/or defendant’s past.

“With any investigation, you can’t jump to conclusions and try to make evidence fit the theory of what happened. Which is exactly what the state did after seeing my past record and having mass media coverage, prosecutors talking to state’s witnesses after their depositions reconfiguring their stories to fit the state’s theory.”

A date has not been set for a hearing on Exline’s appeal.

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