Oregon v. Prieto-RubioAnnotate this Case
In 2011, a 12-year-old girl, A, reported that defendant Jesus Prieto-Rubio, a member of her extended family, had sexually abused her the previous day. The following day, Detective Rookhuyzen went to defendant’s home and interviewed him. Defendant admitted that he had been in the same room with A, but he said that he did not remember what had happened there. Rookhuyzen arrested defendant for his abuse of A. At the station, Rookhuyzen interviewed defendant again. He asked defendant primarily about A. But he also asked whether any other children had come to defendant’s home. Defendant mentioned another child, K, but only by first name. The state ultimately charged defendant with first-degree sexual abuse of A. Defendant retained counsel to defend him on that charge. Over the next several weeks, Rookhuyzen continued to investigate, locating two of defendant's nieces who separately reported that defendant had touched her inappropriately. The nieces reported that the separate incidents occurred at least eight months before defendant allegedly abused A. The issue in this case centered on the extent to which the same constitutional provision prohibits the police from questioning a represented defendant charged with a crime about other, uncharged offenses. Defendant argued that police violated the right to counsel by questioning about other, uncharged offenses if those matters were in any way “factually related” to the crime for which he had obtained counsel. According to defendant, that is what happened in this case, and so the trial court should have suppressed certain statements that he made to police without the assistance of counsel. The Supreme Court concluded that the appropriate test for determining the permissible scope of questioning of a criminal defendant who is represented by counsel was whether it is objectively reasonably foreseeable that the questioning will lead to incriminating evidence concerning the offense for which the defendant has obtained counsel. In this case, the charged and uncharged offenses were so closely related that it was reasonably foreseeable that questioning defendant about the uncharged offenses would elicit incriminating evidence about the charged offense. As a result, that questioning violated defendant’s state constitutional right to counsel.