from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State
of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Cynthia K.C. Meyer, District
of conviction for rape and attempted strangulation, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Maya P.
Waldron, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
appellant. Maya P. Waldron argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Lori A Fleming, Deputy
Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Jeff D. Nye argued.
Lee Joslin, Jr. appeals from his judgment of conviction
entered upon the jury verdict finding him guilty of rape and
attempted strangulation. On appeal, Joslin argues the
district court erred when it allowed Joslin's ex-wife to
testify. Specifically, Joslin claims the district court
abused its discretion when it found the ex-wife's
testimony was admissible under Idaho Rule of Evidence 404(b).
To the extent the district court erred in admitting the
testimony from Joslin's ex-wife, any such error was
harmless and we affirm the district court's judgment of
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
State charged Joslin by information with rape, Idaho Code
§ 18-6101, and attempted strangulation, I.C. §
18-923. The State also charged Joslin with being a
persistent violator, I.C. § 19-2514.
State filed a motion in limine, pursuant to Rule 404(b),
seeking to admit evidence that in 2006 Joslin entered the
home of his ex-wife, strangled her until she was unconscious,
and raped her. In its brief in support of the motion in
limine, the State argued the evidence of Joslin's prior
conduct was admissible because it was part of a common plan
and because it was relevant for purposes of disproving
consent. Joslin objected to the State's intent to use
Rule 404(b) evidence.
hearing on the motion, the district court issued a memorandum
decision granting the State's motion. The district court
explained the evidence was admissible because it was
probative of plan, identity, preparation, and absence of
mistake or accident.
trial, the State presented evidence regarding the injuries
sustained by the victim. The State called eighteen witnesses,
including the victim. The victim testified that on August 25,
2016, she returned to her apartment during the lunch hour.
According to the victim, Joslin grabbed her by the neck and
choked her in a way that she lost and regained consciousness
several times. While doing so, Joslin also placed a hand over
the victim's mouth, so she was limited to intermittently
breathing through her nose. Joslin then had intercourse with
addition to the victim's testimony, the jury saw
photographs of the victim's face, neck, and body which
showed abrasions, redness, and swelling. The jury heard
testimony from healthcare workers who attended to the victim,
listened to her story about being choked and raped, and saw
the injuries. The jury also heard from the victim's
coworkers who explained how the victim was distraught and
injured when she returned to work after lunch and recounted
the story of being raped and choked during her time away from
work that afternoon. The nurses and an officer also testified
regarding the chain of custody and the transportation of the
DNA evidence. A lab technician testified the evidence in the
victim's rape kit tested positive, and a forensic
scientist explained Joslin's DNA was found in the victim.
State's final witness was Joslin's ex-wife, whose
testimony was the subject of the Rule 404(b) dispute prior to
trial. Joslin renewed his objection to the ex-wife's
testimony, and the district court allowed for an offer of
proof wherein Joslin's ex-wife testified outside the
presence of the jury. Following the offer of proof, the
district court found the testimony of the ex-wife was
admissible under Rule 404(b) as proof of motive, opportunity,
intent, preparation, plan, and absence of mistake or
accident. The district court also ...