State v. AlonzoAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals upholding Defendant's convictions but modified the court of appeals' decision because the trial court did not err by not instructing the jury on the definition of "sexual act" under N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-27.1(4).
A jury found Defendant guilty of taking indecent liberties with a child, guilty of felony child abuse by sexual act, and not guilty of first-degree statutory sexual offense. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court committed plain error in defining "sexual act" and did not accurately define the phrase in the context of felony child abuse under N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-318.4(a2). The court of appeals held that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury according to the definition of "sexual act" contained in section 14-27.1(4) but that the trial court's error did not amount to plain error. The Supreme Court modified and affirmed the court of appeals' decision, holding that the trial court did not err by not instructing the jury on the meaning of "sexual act" according to the definition found in section 14-27.1(4).