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A Tulsa man was convicted in 2008 of making a lewd or indecent proposal to a child and using a computer system or network for the purposes of committing a felony. The jury set the punishment at life imprisonment on the first count, and 10 years imprisonment on the second count. The trial court judge sentenced him accordingly.
On appeal, the defendant raised the following issues: 1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict; 2) whether his convictions and sentences for both using a computer to make a lewd or indecent proposal to a child and using a computer to commit the crime of making a lewd or indecent proposal to a child violated his constitutional and statutory rights to be free from double jeopardy and multiple punishment; 3) whether the trial court had issue a non-uniform jury instruction that constituted plain error, and thus, violated his rights to a fair trial; 4 whether the judgment sentence on the second count was inaccurate and should be corrected; and 5) whether consecutive service of his sentence is excessive under the facts and circumstances of his case. The appellate court affirmed the judgment and sentence as to the lewd proposal count, but reversed and dismissed the second count.
In April, two girls brought a note someone had given to them at the public library. The note said you’ve got a friend if you want one. It also included the name of the defendant, and email address, and a phone number. The library and give a note to the library manager who contacted police.
After receiving the note, Tulsa police Detective set up an email account posing as a 12-year-old girl named Angela. Exchange numerous emails with a person using the email address listed on the note. The detective determined that the email correspondence was the defendant. The detective may clear in his emails that Angela was 12 years old. In one email response, the defendant said that he was 30 years old.
The content of the emails progressed to a discussion of sexual subjects. The defendant suggested that he and Angela get together. He suggested that Angela where something like a blouse, in length skirt, and nothing underneath. He also asked her not to wear a bra and asked whether there was anything else that she would like to do with him.
Posing as Angela, the detective reminded the defendant that she was 12 years old and a virgin. But he said he might like to be more than friends but that was up to the defendant.
The defendant began discussing Saxony told Angela that he would be really gentle. He assured her that he did not have any diseases and that he was sterile. They discuss specific the details of sex and the defendant told her that he loved her, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale.
The defendant set up a meeting with Angela but did not show up. However, he continued to communicate with her and made further comments about sexual relations. Some the comments included very graphic and detailed explanations about oral sex.
The detective, acting as Angela, attempted to set up another meeting and Tulsa. The defendant responded that he cannot be there because he was on Tulsa anymore. The detective determined that the defendant was sending emails from a public library in Bristow. He then set up a plan to arrest the defendant there. Before the plan was executed, however, the defendant changed his location and sent emails from a public library in Bartlesville.
Barnesville police assisted in the investigation by sending officers to the Bartlesville library. Shortly after his arrival at the library, a Bartlesville detective saw the defendant vacate a computer workstation. After the defendant laughed, the detective posted and out of order sign on the computer and secured it. The computer was later taken to the Bartlesville Police Department property room. The computer was eventually transferred to the Tulsa Police Department for forensic analysis. Emails retrieve from the computer matched email sent to the detective in Tulsa.
The defendant was arrested while leaving the library. A small card found in his wallet had the name Angela on it and made reference to meeting Angela on a specific date and time at a Tulsa park. In a recorded statement made to a Tulsa detective, the defendant did not deny sending the emails. Instead he stated that it was his intent to wait until Angela was at least 18 years old to have sex with her. He should have hired the best Tulsa criminal defense attorney.
On appeal, the defendant first argued about the sufficiency of the evidence and jury instructions, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. The defendant claimed that the evidence was insufficient to support a jury’s guilty verdict. The jury was instructed that no person may be convicted of lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16 unless the state has prove the unoriginal doubt element of the crime. These elements are: first, the defendant was at least three years older than the victim; second, who knowingly and intentionally; third made an electronically or computer-generated lewd or indecent proposal; fourth, to a child under 16 years old; fifth, for the child to have unlawful sexual relations with any person. This jury instruction was taken verbatim from a uniform jury instruction.
The defendant contended that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction under this instruction because 1) no evidence was presented that he was at least three years older than the detective who was posing as Angela; and 2) there was no evidence that a proposal was made to any person under the age of 16, because the alleged proposal was made to the detective who is not actually a child. Find the best Tulsa criminal defense attorney near you.
The appellate court said that both of these contentions were correct to the extent that the evidence simply matched against the elements listed in instruction. However and noted that the statute defining the crime of making a lewd or indecent proposal to a child includes an alternative element. The defendant also complained that the jury was instructed on the law applicable to the offense because the jury was not instructed on this alternate element. The alternate element refers to making a proposal to an individual that the person believes to be a child under 16 years old, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale.