State v Ring

Ring appealed his rape of a child conviction. The Court affirmed. It held any error in the district court relying on the Shickles factors in deciding whether to admit prior acts of child molestation was invited by Ring’s trial counsel who invited the district court in writing and orally to evaluate Ring’s motion in limine under the Shickles factors and thus the plain error claim here was not evaluated. It affirmed admission of prior acts of molestation because those acts were similar as to the age of the victims, the setting of the crimes, Ring’s opportunity to commit the crimes and Ring’s modus operandi and neither the fact that sex crimes against children are likely to inflame a jury (which cannot be a factor weighing against admission under rules of evidence 403 and 404) or the fact that a jury could, but did not in this case, potentially punish a defendant for past acts create prejudice sufficient to exclude the evidence. It rejected Ring’s ineffective assistance claims because objecting to the use of Shickles factors would not have prevented the prior acts of molestation from being admitted into evidence; failing to object to the admission of one act of molestation was not prejudicial as there would have still been two other acts to establish propensity to molest; failing to object to the admission of a videotaped forensic interview of victim here was not deficient as the law at the time of trial made the interview admissible here as counsel had the opportunity to cross examine victim at preliminary hearing and did not do so; and the argument about the presence of Bikers against Child Abuse failed for lack of a record demonstrating deficient performance or prejudice.

Hodwick v Salt Lake City Corporation

Hodwick appealed the district court decision affirming her termination as a City attorney. The Court affirmed holding Hodwick failed to challenge two of the three grounds relied upon by the district court and thus declined to address the one ground raised in her opening brief.