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Iowa Supreme Court Clears Coach Convicted of Sex with Student

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A divided Iowa Supreme Court has thrown out the sexual exploitation conviction of a former Bloomfield basketball coach who had sex with a 16-year-old girl claiming he doesn't fit the definition of a school employee under Iowa law.

In a 5-to-2 decision the court says charges against 36-year-old Patrick Nicoletto must be dismissed. The court says Friday that a coach without a teaching certificate doesn't fall under the state law prohibiting sexual exploitation by a school employee.

Nicoletto, a coach from 2007 through 2009 was convicted and sentenced to five years. He was sentenced to prison in 2012 but has been free on bond during appeal.

Two justices disagreed calling the majority opinion absurd saying there's no persuasive indication the Legislature intended to exclude coaches from the sexual exploitation law.

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