State v. Moore

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-20-2022
  • Case #: A169841
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: James, P.J. for the court; Lagesen, C.J. & Kamins, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The amendments made to ORS 131.125 were intended to extend the limitations period in the case of incidents of sexual abuse that had not yet been barred under the previous statute.
Under ORS 161.067(3), a court can enter multiple convictions for criminal conduct involving the same conduct or criminal episode, same victim, and same statutory provision only if the violations are separated from one another by a “sufficient pause” in the defendant’s criminal conduct. State v. Bradley, 307 Or App 374, 380, 477 P3d 409 (2020).

Defendant appealed a conviction for two counts of first-degree rape (Count 1 and 2), and one count of first-degree sodomy (Count 3). First, Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion to dismiss. Defendant argued that the statute of limitations for his offenses had expired because the amendments made to ORS 131.125 in 2007 violated the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. The State argued that the statute of limitations had been applied retroactively for claims that were not yet barred by the previous statute. After reviewing legislative history, the Court agreed with the State. Second, Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s failure to merge the verdicts on two counts of first-degree rape. Defendant asserted that there was not a “sufficient pause” in criminal conduct as required by ORS 161.067(3). The State contended that the record supported the trial court’s finding that there was a “sufficient pause.” The Court found the State failed to present sufficient evidence that the Defendants' counts of raping the victim were separated by a “sufficient pause,” and therefore, the trial court erred when it failed to merge the guilty verdicts. The Court reversed and remanded Counts 1 and 2 for merger and resentencing; otherwise affirmed.

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