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State v. Briggs

Court of Appeals of Idaho

September 29, 2017

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
BRANDON BRIGGS, Defendant-Appellant.

         2017 Opinion No. 46

         Appeal from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, State of Idaho, Madison County. Hon. Alan C. Stephens, District Judge.

         Order denying motion in limine and judgment of conviction, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Ben P. McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          HUSKEY, Judge.

         Brandon Briggs appeals from his judgment of conviction entered upon the jury verdict finding him guilty of five counts of lewd conduct, four counts of sexual abuse, and one count of enticing. Before trial, the district court denied Briggs's request to cross-examine witnesses regarding sexual activity under Idaho Rule of Evidence 412(b)(2)(D). On appeal, Briggs argues unobjected-to error occurred because the district court violated his right to confront witnesses under I.R.E. 412(b)(1) and the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Because this case did not involve an unobjected-to error, the standard for unobjected-to error does not apply. Even if this standard does apply, there was no constitutional violation in this case, and thus, Briggs cannot establish fundamental error. Furthermore, Briggs did not present a Sixth Amendment or I.R.E. 412(b)(1) argument to the district court, and thus, we cannot address the arguments for the first time on appeal. We therefore affirm the district court's order denying Briggs's motion in limine and judgment of conviction.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In Docket No. 44140 (2014 case), the State charged Briggs with six crimes: (1) lewd conduct with a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, Idaho Code §§ 18-1508 and 18-112A; (2) sexual abuse of a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1506 and 18-112A; (3) lewd conduct with a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1508 and 18-112A; (4) lewd conduct with a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1508, 18-112A, and 19-304; (5) lewd conduct with a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1508, 18-112A, and 19-304; and (6) lewd conduct with a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1508, 18-112A, and 19-304.

         In Docket No. 44141 (2015 case), the State charged Briggs with four crimes: (1) sexual abuse of a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1506(1)(a) and 18-112A; (2) sexual abuse of a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1506(1)(a) and 18-112A; (3) sexual abuse of a child under the age of sixteen years, felony, I.C. §§ 18-1506(1)(b)[1]and 18-112A; and (4) enticing a child through the use of the Internet or other communication device, felony, I.C. § 18-1509A. The district court consolidated the cases.

         Before trial, Briggs filed a motion in limine, pursuant to I.R.E. 412. In the motion, Briggs moved the district court to admit the sexual history of the victims in the case to show the victims were sexually involved with individuals other than Briggs. Briggs alleged the victims accused Briggs in order to protect the actual perpetrators of the crimes. Briggs argued the testimony was relevant to provide a motive for the victims to lie about any sexual contact with Briggs. At the hearing on the motion, Briggs was asked which section of I.R.E. 412 applied, and Briggs responded: "I think it goes under Rule 412(b)(2)(D), 'sexual behavior with parties other than the accused which occurred at the time of the event giving rise to the sex crime charged.'" The district court issued the following ruling on the matter:

I think evidence that these [victims] knew each other and would, therefore, have an opportunity to maybe conspire or get their stories together would be relevant evidence. But I don't think the allegations about sexual contact between these [victims] and others--I don't see how that would fit under 412 in this particular case, because consent is not an issue in this case because these are minors.

         The district court issued a written order on the motion in limine, ruling that Briggs could not present evidence of the victims' sexual conduct with other individuals. At no point did Briggs articulate that he had a constitutional right to present the evidence in question, cross-examine the victims on the ...


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