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NEW: Court dismisses appeal of Dubuque man who spread HIV

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Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 3:05 pm | Updated: 3:08 pm, Fri Jun 24, 2011.

An appellate court judge on Friday dismissed an appeal from a Dubuque man who claimed his sentence for transmitting HIV to a mentally handicapped woman was cruel and unusual punishment.

Justin A. Keene, now 36, was sentenced in 2000 to 25 years at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, for criminal transmission of HIV, a crime he was charged with in October 1998.

Keene also claimed he was incompetent when he pleaded guilty and received ineffective counsel. Keene was released from prison in December 2010.

The appellate court stated in its opinion “… the issue is moot,” given that Keene is no longer in custody.

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