Friday, July 18, 2008

U.S. v. Gonzalez, No. 06-50461 (7-18-08). The 9th affirmed the convictions of the defendant who, as a police officer, allegedly used his badge and uniform to sexually assault women. Charged federally with acting under color of authority to deprive women of their bodily integrity pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 242, he was convicted after trial. The victims testified. After one victim testified, and was challenged as to her recollection of times and dates, the government offered testimony to rebut an inference of recent fabrication. This was error, the 9th held, under Tome. The cross examination went to dates and places, and not to motive or bias. It was error for the court to let it in, but it was harmless. The credibility of the witness was not likely altered by the vouching; she was a credible witness in the jury's eyes with her 100% sure identification of the defendant. Other testimony about another victim was properly admitted for medical diagnosis. The court further did not err in precluding evidence going to the motive or bias of one victim, whose husband had violated a restraining order, as a motive. The fact that she was a prostitute came out, and the defense examined on that. The jury was aware of her possible motive to lie. The admission of other uncharged conduct under 404(b) was proper as to modus operandi. The 9th notes minor discrepancies with testimonies, but it did not feel that there was error in the convictions.


Post a Comment

<< Home