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Man can appeal child sexual abuse conviction, high court rules

By lindsay whitehurst

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Dec 07 2012 10:51 pm • Last Updated Dec 08 2012 11:26 pm

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.

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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.

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