- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Evidence
- Date Filed: 10-06-2021
- Case #: A171517
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for one count of first-degree sexual abuse under ORS 163.427. On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred in reaching that conclusion and, therefore, erred in admitting that evidence. According to Defendant, “purported evidence of ‘sexual purpose’ drawn from prior acts with unrelated victims” is propensity evidence because “its only logical basis for relevance required an inference of sexual purpose based on defendant’s alleged propensity.” The State maintained that even though the evidence regarding the other minor child was propensity evidence, it was offered for a nonpropensity purpose—i.e., to prove a culpable mental state—and was therefore admissible. OEC 404(3) bars the use of other-acts evidence “to prove that a person has a propensity to engage in certain types of behavior and that the person acted in conformance with that propensity on a particular occasion.” State v. Skillicorn, 367 Or 464, 476, 479 P3d 254 (2021). When other-acts evidence is offered under OEC 404(3), the proponent must articulate a theory of relevance that does not logically depend on propensity reasoning. See State v. Levasseur, 309 Or App 745, 753, 483 P3d 1167, clarified and adh’d on recons, 312 Or App 733, 489 P3d 630 (2021). The Court concluded that, “to the extent such evidence was admissible, it was admissible as propensity evidence under OEC 404(4), not nonpropensity evidence under OEC 404(3).” Reversed and remanded.