California v. WoodsAnnotate this Case
Defendant Grey Woods appealed after a jury convicted him of 16 counts related to sexual misconduct involving his girlfriend's underage daughter. Woods pled guilty to a 17th count, for possession of child pornography. Woods contended that his convictions on counts 1 through 15 should have been reversed on either of two grounds: (1) that the trial court failed to instruct the jury sua sponte on lesser included offenses to the charged offenses of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation of a minor over the age of 14, and forcible oral copulation in concert of a minor over the age of 14; and (2) that the trial court prejudicially erred in instructing the jury on the meaning of "consent" as it related to his case. The State conceded, and the court of Appeal agreed, that the trial court had a duty to instruct the jury regarding the lesser included offense of nonforcible oral copulation with a minor with respect to the charges of forcible oral copulation of a minor over the age of 14 and forcible oral copulation in concert of a minor over the age of 14. The State argued, however, that the error was harmless. Under the circumstances of this case, the Court of Appeal could not conclude that there was no reasonable probability that Woods would have received a more favorable result if the court had provided the instructions on the lesser included offense. Further, the Court disagreed with Woods that the trial court had a duty to instruct the jury regarding the offense of statutory rape as a lesser included offense of the offense of forcible rape; the statutory rape offense that Woods identified was not a lesser included offense of the substantive offense of forcible rape, even under the accusatory pleading test. The Court rejected the remainder of Woods's arguments for reversal. The Court reversed Woods's convictions on counts 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, and 15. Woods could be retried on these counts. The Court affirmed in all other respects.