WATERLOO – The Iowa Court of Appeals has turned down a former Waterloo sex offender’s request to throw out HIV transmission charges.
Jimmy Dean Stevens, now 49, was found guilty of third-degree sexual abuse and criminal transmission of HIV following a 2004 jury trial, and he is currently serving prison time at the Newton Correctional Facility for the HIV charge.
Steven’s had filed an appeal, which was turned down in 2006, and he asked the court to dismiss his post-conviction relief challenge in 2013. He renewed appeal efforts following a 2014 landmark Iowa Supreme Court decision that overturned Plainfield resident Nick Rhoades’ guilty plea to HIV transmission charges because his viral load was undetectable at the time of the incident, the state was unable to a establish a likelihood the virus could have been transmitted, and his partner didn’t contract the virus.
Stevens argued the decision in the Rhoades case should be retroactively applied to his HIV transmission charge, but in a ruling issued Thursday, the Iowa Court of Appeals dismissed Stevens’ appeal and affirmed a lower court ruling that upheld the conviction.
The appellate court ruled that the Iowa Constitution doesn’t require the Rhoades decision to be applied retroactively to others whose appeals had already reached a final decision.
Authorities said Stevens met a 15-year-old boy online in July 2003 and met him for sex without disclosing his HIV status. The teen didn’t contract the virus.