State v. Kawamoto

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-19-2015
  • Case #: A151448
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Nakamoto, P.J.; & De Muniz, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 163.225, a defendant may be found guilty of kidnapping by way of "secret confinement" of a victim in a place where the victim is "unlikely to be found" by individuals who would reasonably be expected to assist the victim, even when the victim's location is known by the defendant's accomplices. Under ORS 163.411, unlawful sexual penetration by way of forcible compulsion is reasonably found when an extended episode of violence, or threats of future violence, precedes the penetration.

Defendant was convicted of one count each of first degree sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration, and assault; and two counts of first-degree kidnapping. Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of his motion for acquittal on the kidnapping and unlawful sexual penetration charges, arguing that the State failed to prove all elements of the offenses. Defendant argued that the State did not prove that Defendant had "secretly confined" Victim where she was "not likely to be found," because testimony at trial indicated that multiple individuals had seen Victim over the course of the days she was confined to a bedroom in Defendant's home. The State responded that only Defendant's accomplices knew of Victim's location, and therefore she was "not likely to be found" by someone who could reasonably be expected to assist her; the Court agreed. On the charge of unlawful sexual penetration, Defendant argued that the State failed to prove that Defendant "forcibly compelled" Victim to engage in sexual penetration either by physical force or express or implied threat when Defendant penetrated Victim's anus with a baseball bat after an extended period of assaultive violence against Victim. The Court rejected this argument, determining that the evidence clearly supported a finding that extended episode of violence preceded the penetration, or that Defendant had threatened more violence to come. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion for acquittal.

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