- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 09-22-2021
- Case #: A172584
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Aoyagi, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a unanimous conviction of coercion. On appeal, Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal on the coercion charge. Defendant argued that the evidence at trial was insufficient to establish coercion. In response, the State asserted that Defendant coerced the victim into being dragged out of Defendant’s car. Under ORS 163.275(1), coercion is the use of the fear of a specified consequence to “influence or persuade a victim to alter his or her course of conduct—to do something that the victim otherwise would not have done or to not do something which the victim otherwise would have done.” State v. Pedersen, 242 Or App 305, 312, 255 P3d 556, rev den, 351 Or 254 (2011). Defendant was charged on a coercion-to-act theory; the State was required to prove Defendant used fear to compel or induce the victim to get out of the car. The Court found that this theory of coercion was legally untenable. “Defendant used physical force”—not fear—to move the victim’s body “against her will.” There was no evidence the victim “altered her behavior in any way due to fear instilled by” Defendant. The Court reversed the coercion conviction.