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Violent felon’s guilty plea and sentence in sex abuse case vacated after appeal

DES MOINES – A former Charles City man and convicted felon who pled guilty in a felony sex abuse case – and now calls Mason City home – has had his guilty plea and sentence overturned and will be back in court.

Barry Jerome Holden, age 32, is now on the state’s sex offender registry, but might be taken off after his guilty plea and sentence in a felony sexual abuse case was overturned by the Iowa Court of Appeals. On June 4, 2014, the Iowa prosecutors charged Holden with burglary in the first degree, sexual abuse in the third degree, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. On November 17, 2015, Holden, in conjunction with a plea agreement, pled guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. The other charges were dismissed in the plea deal.

However, Holden later claimed he was confused by the plea deal and at sentencing. He claimed in an appeal his plea was not knowing and intelligent, there was no factual basis for his plea, and his counsel was ineffective.

The Iowa Court of Appeals bought Holden’s claims and found that his counsel was ineffective, and vacated his plea and sentence and remanded for further proceedings. Records do not indicate when Holden will next be in court in this case.

Holden has not necessarily been a model citizen since he moved to 308 West State Street in Mason City (an address that does not appear in a county property search). In April of this year, Holden was charged by Mason City police with domestic abuse involving strangulation. The case has been held up in court ever since. It appears he will face a jury trial on January 13, 2017.

Holden is no stranger to plea deals. He worked a plea deal in 2014 in Floyd county after Charles City police charged him with felony D willful injury causing bodily injury and tampering with a witness. He was was transported to an Iowa prison in January of that year to serve a five-year sentence of incarceration. However, he was freed in October of that year. Records show at that time that he completed a course called “Moderate Intensive Family Violence Prevention Program”.

Holden, Barry Jerome
Holden, Barry Jerome
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