JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Region 8 man was rightfully convicted of raping his own daughter, whom he later married.
In 2011 a Greene County jury found Joseph Chunestudy, 55, guilty of rape. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Chunestudy appealed the conviction on the grounds he had not received effective counsel at trial.
The former Paragould resident claimed his attorney had not “properly prepared for trial” because he had not called an expert witness to rebut the testimony of a prosecution witness.
Chunestudy also claimed in his appeal his counsel failed to fully investigate the case.
In its decision the state Supreme Court stated Chunestudy did not demonstrate his counsel's deficient performance deprived him of a fair trial.
The court affirmed the jury's conviction and the sentence.
Chunestudy was arrested in 2009 after his daughter disclosed the abuse to her former stepmother.
According to court documents, Chunestudy began having sexual relations with his daughter when she was 11 or 12 years old while they were living in Oklahoma.
The relationship continued after they moved to Greene County when she was between the ages of 15 and 18.
Chunestudy married the victim when she turned 18 and the two moved to Craighead County.
The victim eventually moved back to Oklahoma.