This put up summarizes the printed felony opinion from the North Carolina Courtroom of Appeals launched on July 5, 2022. This abstract will likely be added to Smith’s Legal Case Compendium, a loose and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to the current.
(1) Trial court docket didn’t err in failing to require jury to be unanimous about which act constituted indecent liberties with a kid; (2) Mistake of age isn’t a protection to indecent liberties with a kid; thus, trial court docket didn’t err in failing to provide such an instruction.
State v. Langley, 2022-NCCOA-457, ___ N.C. App. ___ (July 5, 2022). On this Pitt County case, defendant appealed his conviction for taking indecent liberties with a kid.
Proof at trial established that the 27-year-old defendant picked up the 15-year-old sufferer from her house within the night, drove her to more than a few places, had her carry out oral intercourse on him, digitally penetrated her, and touched her breasts. The sufferer didn’t have in mind the entire occasions that night; after she aroused from sleep the following morning, the defendant dropped her off on the Division of Social Services and products. A next sexual attack exam printed the presence of the defendant’s DNA on a vaginal swab from the sufferer and the presence of sperm at the vaginal swab pattern. The jury discovered defendant no longer to blame of kidnapping and statutory rape and statutory intercourse offense fees, however discovered the defendant to blame of taking indecent liberties with a kid beneath N.C.G.S § 14-202.1.
On attraction, the defendant argued that the trial court docket erred by way of no longer requiring the jury to be unanimous as to what act constituted indecent liberties with a kid. The Courtroom of Appeals rejected that argument, mentioning State v. Hartness, 326 N.C. 561 (1990), for the proposition that “‘the crime of indecent liberties is a unmarried offense that could be proved by way of proof of the fee of any certainly one of quite a lot of acts.’” Slip op. at ¶ 16. The Courtroom defined that although every member of the jury thought to be a special act in concluding that the defendant dedicated the offense of taking indecent liberties with a kid, the jury may just nonetheless unanimously in finding that he dedicated the offense, thus fulfilling the constitutional and statutory requirement for a unanimous jury verdict.
The defendant additional argued that the trial court docket must have advised the jury that mistake of age is a protection. The Courtroom of Appeals rejected that argument, mentioning precedent that mistake of age isn’t a legitimate protection to taking indecent liberties with a kid.