State v. Baughman

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-09-2016
  • Case #: A152531
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, C.J.; Tookey, J.

Under OEC 404(4), a trial court may admit evidence of a criminal defendant’s other crimes, wrongs, or acts if “(1) it is relevant under OEC 401, and (2) as required by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ‘a trial court determines whether the risk of unfair prejudice posed by the evidence outweighs its probative value under OEC 403.’” Therefore, a court must undergo a four part balancing test as required by, State v. Mayfield, 302 OR 631 (1987), to determine if the evidence is to be excluded.

Defendant appealed a judgment convicting him of various sexual offences. All of the acts relating to those convictions involved B, the daughter of Defendant’s girlfriend. Defendant asserted that the trial court erred in admitting uncharged misconduct evidence from B as well as another witness, A, “concerning prior sexual crimes committed by defendant” against them for the “purpose of establishing (1) defendant’s identity, (2) defendant’s intent, and (3) [to] bolster[] [B]’s credibility." According to Defendant, under Williams, all uncharged misconduct evidence is subject to OEC 403 balancing. The Court agreed with Defendant's proposition, specifically finding that the court erred by finding the proposed evidence as relevant and the Court explained that the purpose of bolstering the victim’s credibility is merely propensity by a different name. Thus, having erred on both of those points in conducting its weighing, the trial court did not correctly consider the “quantum of probative value of the evidence.” Reversed and remanded.

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