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 the charges against 36-year-old Patrick Nicoletto must be dismissed.
The court reasons in a Friday ruling that a coach without a teaching certificate doesn't fall under the state law that prohibits sexual exploitation by a school employee.
Nicoletto, a coach from 2007 through 2009, was convicted in October 2012. He's been free on bond ever since.
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.
Coach involved with student hears fate
Victim takes the stand against Nicoletto
Nicoletto trial underway in Bloomfield