The Iowa Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of a man who pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV.
Nick Rhoades of Plainfield appealed his 2009 conviction, claiming his attorney was ineffective by letting him plead guilty. The court on Friday found there was insufficient factual basis to support the plea and returned the case to district court.
Six of seven justices concluded intimate contact isn't enough to prove that exchange of bodily fluid took place or that Rhoades intentionally exposed the man he had sex with in a way that could result in HIV transmission.
The state must prove a factual basis exists for the charge. If it cannot, Rhoades' withdraws his plea. He was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison and later released on probation.
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