The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the conviction and sentencing of a western Iowa man who was accused of sexually abusing his teenage stepdaughter.

Forty-year-old Brian Street was convicted in January 2007, of sexual exploitation and possession of child pornography following an investigation into a fire at his family’s home in Griswold in 2005.

Street’s stepdaughter, Tracy Dyess, said she set the fire in an attempt to kill Street after years of sexual abuse. A sister and nephew of Dyess died in the fire, and she is serving a 45-year sentence for arson and attempted murder.

Cass County Attorney Dan Feistne, who prosecuted the case on the local level, said he was thrilled by the news and thankful for the work of the U.S. Attorney’s office in securing Street’s conviction. Feistner says the U.S. Attorney did an “excellent” job and says bringing the case under federal law brings more teeth and sentencing time, as the federal law requires 80 to 85-percent sentencing time.

Feistner says this should finally close the book on what has been an ugly story of abuse and tragedy for the family and community…as least as far as Brian Street is concerned. He says at some point Tracey Dyess will come up for parole, but as for Street, the Circuit Court’s decision means we shouldn’t hear about him for another 30-years.

He says their ruling supports his and the State’s conclusion that there was enough evidence against to show there was more going on in his Griswold home than met the eye. Feistner says Street could appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it wouldn’t be an automatic appeal.