Fuentes v. StateAnnotate this Case
Evidence of a medical diagnosis is not required to establish that a victim is mentally defective as defined by Md. Crim. Law 3-301(b).
Petitioner challenged his convictions of second-degree rape and third-degree sexual offense, arguing, in part, that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions where the convictions were contingent on the victim’s status as a mentally defective individual and the State failed to establish that she had been diagnosed with either mental retardation or a mental disorder. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the jury was able reasonably to infer that the victim suffered from a mental defect that rendered her incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse and sexual contact under Md. Crim. Law 3-304(a)(2) and 3-307(a)(2); (2) the prosecutor erred by informing the jury during closing argument that Petitioner had admitted to taking advantage of the victim’s mental diminished capacity in an interview that was never introduced at trial, but the error did not influence the verdict; and (3) the trial court’s exclusion of the victim’s employment records was legally correct.