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Man can appeal child sexual abuse conviction, high court rules

Published December 8, 2012 6:08 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A new U.S. Supreme Court decision allows a convicted child molester to appeal his sentence, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Shannon Glen Winward can argue his attorney didn't adequately explain a proposed plea deal offer to him, according to the opinion. The ruling allows him to file a motion to vacate or amend his sentence.

Winward, 47, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for sexually abusing three boys in his Kearns home in 1993. He was convicted on four counts of child sodomy and one count of sexual abuse of a child after an earlier trial ended in a deadlocked jury in 1994.

The state high court made Friday's decision on the basis of a new U.S. Supreme Court opinion giving defendants the right effective assistance of counsel during plea-bargaining, not just during a trial, according to Friday's opinion.