Late last month, the defendant in a sexual misconduct case appealed his guilty conviction before an Arizona court of appeals. The defendant had been found guilty after his stepdaughter accused him of sexually assaulting her, and he argued on appeal that the trial court should have admitted certain evidence that it kept out of the trial record. If that evidence had been admitted, argued the defendant, he might have walked away without a guilty verdict. Ultimately, the court of appeals disagreed and denied the defendant’s appeal.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant lived with his wife and his wife’s daughter, who was 11 years old at the time of the alleged incidents. Twice over a period of two days, the defendant initiated sexual contact with the child, and she reported it to her school counselor later that week. Local law enforcement got involved, and the defendant was charged with sexual conduct with a minor.
When the case went to trial, the defendant’s attorney wanted to introduce into evidence two other examples of the when the child accused men of raping her. According to defense counsel, these other rapes ended up being false accusations, and the court should be allowed to consider this history when deciding whether the girl was telling the truth about the defendant in this case.