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Double Jeopardy – Multiplicity: Repeated Sexual Assault, § 948.025(1) – Different Counties

State v. Thomas A. Nommensen, 2007 WI App 224
For Nommensen: Anthony L. O’Malley

Issue/Holding: Although charges of repeated sexual assault, § 948.025(1) were the same in law, they were different in fact because they :

¶8        Charged offenses are not multiplicitous if the facts are either separate in time or of a significantly different nature. Id. at 749. “The appropriate question is whether these acts allegedly committed … are so significantly different in fact that they may properly be denominated separate crimes although each would furnish a factual underpinning or a substitute legal element for the violation of the same statute.” Id. (citation omitted). Charges are not the same in fact if each requires proof of a fact that the other does not. Blockburger v. U.S., 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932). Multiple offenses are significantly different in nature if each requires “a new volitional departure in the defendant’s course of conduct.” Anderson, 219 Wis. 2d at 750 (citation omitted).

¶9        Here, it is self-evident that the separate allegations against Nommensen in Washington county and Fond du Lac county are different in fact since the conduct occurred in different locations. From that, it is also self-evident that the conduct had to have occurred at different times. In short, Nommensen could not have been in two different locations at the same time. From that, it also follows that the conduct alleged against Nommensen in Fond du Lac county and the separate conduct alleged in this case each represent “a new volitional departure in [Nommensen’s] course of conduct.” See id.So, despite the “overlap” period of April 1998, a future fact finder in this case could not convict Nommensen based on the conduct for which he was acquitted in the Fond du Lac county case.

The court also rejects challenges based on venue, ¶¶10-12, and claim/issue preclusion, ¶¶19-20, largely for the same reason: the offenses were not “identical in fact.”

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