State v. Moreno

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 01-27-2016
  • Case #: A157965
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J. pro tempore.

When appealing the denial of a motion for acquittal, a criminal defendant must prove that, based on the undisputed evidence at trial, no reasonable jury could have found, beyond a reasonable doubt, the essential elements of the charged offense.

Defendant appealed a conviction of first degree sexual abuse, arguing that the trial court erred by denying his motion for acquittal. Defendant admitted to encountering the victim at a dance club, driving home with the victim, and touching the victim's vagina with his hand. The victim testified that she had woken up in a strange house and that Defendant was, without consent, inserting his penis inside her vagina. The victim testified that she had not had consensual sex with anyone that night, but DNA evidence found three different DNA sets, and could not definitively exclude or confirm Defendant's DNA. Based on this evidence, Defendant moved for acquittal, but this motion was denied. On appeal, Defendant argued that there was not legally sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction for first-degree sexual abuse. The Court disagreed, and determined that based on Defendant's corroborated confession, the victim's testimony, and the physical evidence, a jury could have found the essential elements of first-degree sexual abuse. Affirmed.

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