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State v. Hennagir

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-09-2011
Case #: A140446
Wollheim, J for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; & Rosenblum, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A140446.pdf

Criminal Law: Under ORS 161.405(1), a reasonable jury can infer the intent to complete a crime when substantial steps have been taken toward completion, even when there is no evidence of the actual objective.

Defendant, a 65-year-old male, appealed his conviction for 3rd degree sexual abuse and attempted 3rd degree rape of a 14-year-old girl. He argued that the attempted rape conviction was not supported by legally sufficient evidence, because no reasonable juror could infer that he intended to have sexual intercourse with the victim. Defendant also argued that the court erred in admitting an out-of-court statement regarding the credibility of the victim. Evidence showed that defendant took the victim into a secluded logging area where he complimented her, kissed her on the lips and neck and licked her ear. He later placed her hand on his penis over his pants twice and, when rebuffed, tried to lift her shirt. Under ORS 161.405(1), a person is guilty of an attempted crime when a substantial step is taken toward the completion of the crime. The Court of Appeals ruled that a reasonable jury could infer, from the actions defendant engaged in, that his ultimate intent was sexual intercourse, even though there was no evidence presented that his actual objective was intercourse. Regarding the out-of-court statement, the jury was given a cautionary instruction before the statement was heard and there was no evidence that the jury disregarded the court's instruction. Affirmed.