A Le Grand man who sexually abused his child and two stepchildren will serve 25 years in prison.
Phillip L. Carter, 30, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of lascivious acts with a child last fall. However, an appeal of his sentence has tied up the case for the past year, according to Paul Crawford, assistant Marshall County Attorney.
The Marshall County Sheriff's Office arrested Carter in June 2012, after determining he had sexually abused three children - one child was age 9 at the time of the arrest, two others were 7.
The state later amended Carter's charges to include a total of 23 counts - nine counts of third-degree sexual abuse, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, nine counts of lascivious acts with a child, two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor and one count of indecent contact with a child. If convicted, Carter could have received a sentence of more than 300 years in prison.
Carter and the state reached a plea agreement, and Carter pleaded guilty to three child sex crimes on July 31, 2012.
Following the hearing, he unsuccessfully asked the court to let him withdraw his guilty pleas.
Judge James Ellefson sentenced Carter to 25 years in prison in October 2012.
Following sentencing, Carter filed an appeal claiming his lawyer was ineffective and hadn't advised him that he risked additional loss of freedom if, after his prison time was served, he were civilly committed as a sexual predator under Iowa Code, Crawford said.
The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed Carter's convictions on Sept. 5 and concluded that Carter's lawyer was not ineffective. Carter did not seek further appellate review by the Iowa Supreme Court. On Friday, the Court of Appeals issued an order that the appeal process is finished, and Carter's original sentence of 25 years will be carried out.