People v. Poletti,Annotate this Case
Defendant was accused by his step-daughter of sexual molestation when she was between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. A jury convicted defendant of 15 felonies, including rape, forcible lewd acts upon a child, aggravated sexual assault upon a child by oral copulation, aggravated sexual assault upon a child by sexual penetration, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, and possession of child pornography. The jury acquitted him of one alleged rape (winter break rape). The court of appeal directed the trial court to enter a verdict of acquittal of an alleged June 2007 rape, for lack of substantial evidence, and ordered retrial on the remaining sexual abuse charges on juror misconduct grounds. The convictions for dissuading a witness and possession of child pornography were unaffected. During retrial, although the alleged Winter Break and June 2007 rapes were not charged, evidence of them was admitted to attack and bolster victim's credibility. The jury found defendant guilty of two counts of forcible lewd touching of a child under age 14 and hung on nine other charges. The court of appeal affirmed, upholding the admission of evidence of the uncharged rapes without informing the jury of the prior acquittals. The court found several instances of prosecutorial misconduct, which it referred to the State Bar.