CHARLES CITY — Convicted sex offender and former county and school board candidate Doug Lindaman is getting a new trial because he was not adequately warned about the dangers of representing himself.
Lindaman was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse by a Floyd County jury on April 12, 2016. He is serving an up-to-10-year prison sentence and on release he was to be placed on the sex offender registry.
In an order filed Friday, May 19, the three-judge panel of Iowa Supreme Court Justices Brent R. Appel, Thomas Waterman and Bruce B. Zager agreed with Lindaman’s appeal for a new trial based on a misstep by Floyd County District Court Judge Gregg Rosenbladt.
“The state agrees that the district court failed to engage the appellant in a timely Farretta colloquy,” the order written by Waterman states. “Because after a review of the record, we conclude the district court failed to determine whether the appellant’s waiver of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel was intelligent and knowing because the requisite Faretta colloquy was not conducted, we summarily reverse and remand the case to the district court for a new trial.”
Lindaman is being represented by Assistant Appellate Defender Stephan Japuntich.
Lindaman, a former Floyd County magistrate whose law license was revoked in 1989 after being convicted in 1988 of two counts of lascivious acts with two minors, represented himself throughout the trial. After the verdict, he applied for and was granted appointed counsel.
He continued to personally file documents with the court during his appeal, including in December a nearly 100-page brief and treatise on sexuality.
With his appointed attorney, his successful appeal argued that the District Court failed to conduct an on-the-record conversation to ascertain whether Lindaman could make a “knowing and intelligent waiver” of his right to counsel.
The precedent was set by the Faretta v. California case in 1975.
Lindaman argued the only inquiry into Faretta was made midway through the trial after prosecution had presented most of its evidence. He said that conversation was “insufficient to establish he knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his right to counsel he was not advised of the dangers inherent in self representation,” states the high court’s order.
Floyd County Attorney Rachel Ginbey filed the sex abuse charges against Lindaman on Aug. 25, 2015, based on 2011 events involving a teenage farm hand he hired. She said she discovered the case while cleaning through files.
Lindaman, a convicted felon whose rights were restored by a blanket executive order in 2005 from Gov. Tom Vilsack, was running for Charles City School Board when the new charges were filed.
Lindaman was convicted in 1988 of molesting two boys, ages 11 and 16. He was not placed on the sex offender registry at the time because it did not exist until 1995.