What an exhausting week!
First, I was set for a possession of marijuana trial in Harris County on 4/20. I was so eager to try that case and hopefully get a NOT GUILTY on the marijauna holiday, but it wasn’t to be. For the second time. The first time the case was set for trial it was reset because the district attorney thought that the day of trial would be a good time to turn over BRADY bodycam video. I am sure glass I did not push forward without it ;).
This time, the case was reset because the judge wanted to get a two day trial out of the way, whereas mine would only take one day Although I was disappointed to not try this case, it gave me time to finish up an appeal. My appeal client was sentenced to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child, which is the legal term for “rape” in Texas. You’d think that a trial for this type of charge might take quite a while, but this trial only lasted two days and they sent my guy to the slammer for the long haul.
I was not the trial lawyer. The trial lawyer was a guy who is infamous for being found ineffective multiple times, yet for some reason, the courts keep appointing this guy to cases (in my opinion it is because they way certain defendants locked up for life, and this guy’s representation almost guarantees it). I don’t want to get into the details of the case, but I’ll tell you what’s important.
The complainant (what you might naturally as the victim) claimed my client diddled her. The complainant also claimed that three boys raped her at a party in another county that were no-billed. Mind you, a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. The prosecutors sent the trial lawyer a motion in limine that indicated the girl made accusations in the other county. (P.S. This crappy notice is going to be a huge issue and a potential Brady violation if there is a writ filed.) The trial lawyer didn’t read the notice/motion and didn’t request a continuance to investigate the allegations to see if they were false, which would be necessary to cross-examine/impeach the complainant at trial.
You might not think her prior false allegations of abuse are all that important, but they are huge, and particularly huge in this case. Why? Because the complainant claimed my client penetrated her, and touched her elsewhere. Well, the nurse recovered my client’s DNA everywhere the complainant said my client touched her, except in her vagina, AND the nurse testified that if he really did penetrate her vagina, his DNA should be there under the circumstances. PHEW! It’s uncomfortable talking about this. I don’t like sex offenders and pedophiles, but if I’m not protecting their rights, your rights wont be protected.
So the point here is that if my client did not penetrate the girl, he is not guilty of aggravated sexual assault, which brings me to my second point, the court committed error by not including a jury charge for the lesser offense of indecency with a child.
I don’t know if my client is guilty, and it wouldn’t effect my representation if I did or he was. I never in a million years thought I would be an appellate lawyer in Texas, but it can be fun at times. Now it is time to wait and see what happens.