Perez v. ColoradoAnnotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was the narrow question of whether the trial court's improper admission of unfairly prejudicial 404(b) evidence offered to establish the defendant's intent in a single count warranted reversing defendant Armando Perez' two remaining convictions. The trial court allowed 404(b) evidence for the limited purpose of showing Perez's intent to commit sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact upon a child for the count of enticement of a child. In so doing, it excluded the jury's use of the 404(b) evidence for any element for the two remaining counts, sexual assault on a child and second-degree kidnapping. On appeal, the court of appeals concluded that the trial court abused its discretion when it allowed the evidence and that the error was not harmless, and reversed the enticement conviction. The court of appeals, however, affirmed the defendant's sexual assault and kidnapping convictions because it presumed that the jury followed the limiting instructions not to consider the evidence for any element of those two counts. The State did not appeal the court of appeals' ruling that the trial court erred in admitting the 404(b) evidence. After review of Perez' arguments on appeal, the Supreme Court concluded the trial court abused its discretion in admitting 404(b) evidence of Perez's prior bad acts for a single count, and that the error was not harmless as to the convictions on the two remaining counts. The Court therefore vacated Perez's convictions for sexual assault on a child and second-degree kidnapping and remanded to the court of appeals with instructions to return the case to the trial court for further proceedings.