A Jefferson man will face up to 75-years in prison following an additional conviction Thursday.
Assistant Greene County Attorney Thomas Laehn tells Raccoon Valley Radio that District Court Judge James Drew found 47-year-old James Hubert Exline guilty of his second or subsequent offense for second degree sexual abuse. Exline was convicted on Wednesday by a jury in Bremer County of felonies for second degree sexual abuse and third degree sexual abuse.
However, Laehn says the jury wasn’t aware that Exline had a prior conviction for sexual abuse on his record and therefore had to go through a “mini-trial” for the State to prove that Exline had a prior sexual abuse conviction. Laehn adds that Judge Drew didn’t allow the jury to know about the prior conviction because he didn’t want to expose the jury to prejudice material, so they could focus on the current incident.
Laehn points out that Exline waived his right to a jury trial Thursday for the prior conviction and Judge Drew served as “the jury.” He ruled that Exline had a prior conviction and so now Exline faces up to 75-years in prison. Exline was accused of sexually abusing his 12-year-old daughter, Paige Exline, from June 2016 to April 2017. Paige was one of two victims that died in a house fire in Guthrie Center in May of 2017.
Laehn says Exline’s sentencing will be determined at a later date in Greene County. Raccoon Valley Radio will bring you more information as it becomes official.