A divided Iowa Supreme Court has thrown out the sexual exploitation conviction of a former Bloomfield High School basketball coach who had sex with a 16-year-old girl claiming he doesn't fit the definition of a school employee under state law.
In a 5-2 decision Friday, the court said charges against 36-year-old Patrick Nicoletto must be dismissed because a coach without a teaching certificate doesn't fall under the state law prohibiting sexual exploitation by a school employee.
Nicoletto, a coach from 2007 through 2009, was convicted and sentenced in 2012 to five years in prison, but has been free on bond during appeal.
Two justices disagreed, calling the majority opinion absurd saying there's no persuasive indication the Legislature intended to exclude coaches from the sexual exploitation law.
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