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Complaint provided factual basis for pleas

State v. Noah M. Sanders, 2016AP2387-CR, 4/27/17, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The complaint’s summary of the allegations in support of the charges provided a sufficient factual basis for Sanders’s pleas to intimidation of a victim.

Sanders was arrested and charged with battery of KL. During the 72-hour no-contact period under § 968.075(5) Sanders called KL from the jail. The content of some of the calls (duly recorded by the jail telephone system) led to intimidation charges in this case, which alleged he was trying to prevent or dissuade KL from assisting in the prosecution of the battery case in violation of § 940.44(2). (¶¶2-4). Sanders argues his statements in the calls don’t provide a factual basis for the intimidation charges because they don’t have anything to do with the actual prosecution of the battery case. (¶15).

The court of appeals judge interprets Sanders’s argument as a claim the court should ignore the context of, and reasonable inferences from, the content of the calls. (¶15). The court says “nuts!” to that. It concludes that the context (repeated calls made during the 72-hour no-contact period, which supports an inference Sanders was trying to modify KL’s behavior (¶16)) and the reasonable inferences from Sanders’s actual words (e.g., trying to get KL to change her story, playing on her sympathy, telling her not to talk to his parole agent (¶¶17-19)) provide a factual basis that Sanders’s conduct constituted intimidation of a victim.

Nor does the court buy Sanders argument that there’s no factual basis because he didn’t make a specific threat to KL about the consequences of cooperating with the battery prosecution. There’s no authority establishing that § 940.44(2) is violated only if the defendant makes a specific threat. (¶20).

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