People v. Velasco-PalaciosAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a child after his girlfriend’s daughter reported molestation. The prosecutor told the defender (Hinman) that the People would accept a settlement offer for a prison term of eight years. Defendant was unwilling to settle, but Hinman continued to attempt to persuade defendant. The prosecutor stated that he was considering refiling the charges to allege penetrative acts, which carried a possible life sentence and provided Hinman with a translation of defendant’s police interrogation, which had been conducted in Spanish. The translation contained additional lines, fabricated by the prosecution: “[DEFENDANT]: I know. I’m just glad she’s not pregnant like her mother.” Hinman informed defendant it included an admission of penetration. Defendant denied making the incriminating statements. Hinman sought to uncover why the incriminating lines were not present in the translation prepared by his office. Days later, Hinman requested “the exact CD reviewed by [the People’s] transcriber/interpreter,” but got no response. Later that day, the proscutor admitted to falsifying the transcript. The trial court dismissed, finding the conduct “egregious, outrageous, and … shocked the conscience.” The court of appeal affirmed, finding that defendant’s constitutional right to counsel was prejudiced by the prosecutor’s misconduct.