In a recent opinion from an Arizona court involving sexual assault, the defendant’s appeal of his guilty verdict was denied. Originally, the defendant was found guilty of sexual conduct with a minor. He appealed, arguing the trial court unfairly used evidence of sexual abuse that occurred outside of the county where the court resided. Disagreeing with the defendant, the court affirmed the defendant’s guilty verdict.
The Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the victim of sexual assault in this case was 13 years old when the defendant began molesting him. The defendant, a close family friend, would stay at the victim’s house and come into his room at night. On other occasions, the defendant brought the victim to an unoccupied house and engaged in sexual conduct with him there.
At trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of four counts of molestation of a child and one count of sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced to time in prison, and he immediately appealed his guilty verdict.
On appeal, the defendant raised several issues, hoping to get the guilty verdict reversed. He started by arguing that the trial court should not have admitted evidence of other acts of sexual abuse that the defendant committed against the victim. The acts that the defendant took issue with had occurred outside of the county where the case was prosecuted, meaning the State would have had to initiate another court case to charge the defendant with those crimes in particular. The specific pieces of evidence that the defendant disputed included a forensic interview, a series of text messages between the defendant and the victim, and DNA test results that placed the defendant at the scene of these sexual assaults.
The higher court considered the defendant’s argument that the evidence should not have been used, but ultimately they rejected it. According to the court, there was sufficient proof that these other sexual acts had occurred, and even though they occurred outside of the county of the court, they were relevant to the case at hand. The court concluded that these acts served as proof of the defendant’s inclination to sexually abuse the victim and that they were thus rightfully included in the State’s presentation of evidence.
Given the court’s disagreement on this issue and the defendant’s other issues raised, the court affirmed the defendant’s original guilty verdict.
Have You Been Charged with Sexual Assault Crimes in Arizona?
If you or a loved one has been criminally charged with sexual assault in Arizona, it is in your best interest to call the Law Office of James E. Novak as soon as possible. Our team has worked hard to develop a nuanced understanding of the criminal legal sphere in Arizona, and we are prepared to bring unparalleled experience and commitment to your case. To make sure your voice is heard, give us a call and conduct a free, confidential consultation. Our number is 480-413-1499; you can also send us an online message to have your questions answered.