Seal v. StateAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of child sexual abuse, third-degree sex offense, and second-degree sex offense. Defendant appealed, asserting that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to suppress a recorded telephone conversation with the victim during which Defendant made multiple incriminating statements. The Court of Special Appeals upheld the circuit court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress, concluding that the victim, a West Virginia resident, was sufficiently supervised by a Maryland law enforcement officer so as to make the recording a permissible interception under Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. (CP) 10-402(c)(2). CP 10-402(c)(2) provides an exception to the Maryland Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act’s general prohibition on the interception of wire, oral, and electronic communications. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the trial court erred in admitting the taped telephone call between the victim and Defendant because the victim was not acting “under the supervision of an investigative or law enforcement officer” as required by CP 10-402(c)(2) where the officer simply set up the recording equipment, instructed the victim on how handle the equipment, and gave the victim the equipment to conduct the recording on his own in West Virginia.