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Other-Acts Evidence

State v. Jonathan A. Meenen, 2009AP3107-CR, District 3, 1/11/11

court of appeals decision (3-judge, not recommended for publication); for Meenen: Donna L. Hintze, SPD, Madison Appellate; case activity; Meneen BiC; State Resp.; Reply

On a charge of 1st-degree sexual assault of a (5-year-old) child, evidence of Meneen’s prior juvenile adjudication for sexual contact with an 8-year-old was admissible:

  • Acceptable purpose. The evidence demonstrated motive (the desire for sexual gratification from prepubescent girls), ¶11.
  • Relevance. The evidence was “of consequence to the determination of the action” (because the jury might otherwise be disinclined to believe such desire exists), ¶13; and it had probative value, by tending to make more likely Meneen’s motive to assault the girl, ¶15.
  • Unfair prejudice. The evidence was relatively close in time (5 years prior to the offense on trial) and involved similarly aged victims; and was not, despite the “real danger” the jury would “conclude that he that he was a bad man,” outweighed by its probative value, ¶17. Risk of unfair prejudice was also reduced by use of a stipulation and limiting instruction, ¶19.
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