PEOPLE OF MI V RICHARD ALAN SWEITZER JRAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
LC No. 96-006072 FH
RICHARD ALAN SWEITZER, JR.,
Before: Jansen, P.J., and Kelly and Markey, JJ.
KELLY, J. (dissenting).
I respectfully dissent because I believe the trial court erred in failing to give a jury instruction on
assault and battery.
A trial court must instruct on a lesser included misdemeanor where there is, (1) a proper request
by the defendant, (2) there is a relationship between the greater and lesser offenses, (3) a rational jury
could find defendant innocent of the greater and guilty of the lesser offense, (4) the defendant is given
adequate notice (if the prosecutor requests the instruction) and (5) that the requested instruction does
not result in undue confusion or some other injustice. People v Stevens, 416 Mich 252, 263-264; 330
NW2d 675 (1982); People v Rollins, 207 Mich App 465; 525 NW2d 484 (1994).
When defendant requested the instruction on the lesser included offense of assault and battery,
the trial court stated that the evidence did not support such an instruction; it reasoned:
The jury must conclude either, (a), it was done for sexual purpose, or (b), that it could
reasonably be construed to be done for sexual purposes. If they don’t believe the
prosecutor has proven that element beyond a reasonable doubt, then he’s going to be
The trial court’s ruling was incorrect. On these facts, a jury could conclude that defendant
intentionally touched the victim’s buttocks and that he intended to put her in fear or harm her, however
slightly. Therefore, the evidence supported the assault and battery instruction. Especially significant is
the testimony of the victim to the effect that he lifted her off her feet. I believe the trial court erred in
denying the instruction based on the evidence.
This case is easily distinguishable from People v Corbiere, 220 Mich App 620; 559 NW2d
666 (1996) relied upon by the majority. Corbiere involved an horrendous and continued twelve-hour
ordeal where the victim was repeatedly battered, slapped and raped. The facts in this case do not
approach in severity the cases relied on by the majority nor is the legislative intent, to recognize criminal
sexual conduct as uniquely heinous distinct from and far more invasive of human sanctity and dignity than
common assault, satisfied in this case. Corbiere, supra at 266. There was nothing uniquely heinous
about these facts.
I would reverse.
/s/ Michael J. Kelly