The Nebraska Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a former Lincoln police officer’s conviction and prison sentence for a sexual assault charge, rejecting an argument that his attorney should have been allowed to ask at trial about his accuser’s prior relationships with officers.
Greg Cody is likely to appeal.
Prosecutors charged the then 27-year veteran of the police department with first-degree sexual assault in November 2017 after a 32-year-old woman in the ICU at a Lincoln hospital alleged he had forced her to have sex dozens of times.
Cody resigned before he was charged and maintains he’d had consensual sex with the woman three times, all while off-duty.
In June 2019, after hearing testimony from Cody and his accuser, the jury found him guilty. Cody maintained his innocence as a Lincoln judge sentenced him later to 12 to 16 years in prison, then appealed.
In November, Judges Rikko Bishop, David Arterburn and Lawrence Welch Jr. heard arguments in the case.
Cody’s attorney, Jason Troia, alleged the trial judge and Cody’s trial attorney made a number of errors that should result in a new trial. Much of the issue involved the admissibility of evidence under Nebraska’s Rape Shield Law and whether trial counsel had been ineffective.
Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Melissa Vincent said the trial judge properly excluded information about the accuser’s prior romantic relationships, including a defense allegation that she had a “type” and twice before dated officers.
Troia had argued the evidence was insufficient for a jury to find Cody guilty.
In Tuesday’s opinion, the three-judge panel disagreed.
Contrary to Cody’s argument, Welch wrote, “the state is not required to corroborate a victim’s testimony in cases of first-degree sexual assault; if believed by the finder of fact, the victim’s testimony alone is sufficient.”
The court found that Cody’s trial counsel was not ineffective.
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