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State v. Reeves

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-06-2012
Case #: A142015
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J. and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A142015.pdf

Criminal Law: Under ORS 161.067(2), because the children depicted in pornographic images are "multiple victims" for the purpose of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, merger of more than one guilty verdict into one conviction is precluded, regardless of whether it is the same criminal episode.

Defendant appealed his bench convictions for 15 counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree based on 15 still image and movie files found on his computer. Defendant argued that the 15 guilty verdicts should merge into one conviction because each download was part of the same criminal episode. The State argued that there was “sufficient pause” between each download, making it a separate criminal episode, and that the children depicted in the images were “multiple victims” that precluded merger. The trial court agreed with the State and sentenced Defendant separately for each count. The Court of Appeals found that while there was no evidence of “sufficient pause” between downloads because several files could be downloaded simultaneously, under ORS 161.067(2) the children were multiple victims that warranted separate convictions. The Court of Appeals remanded for with instructions to determine the number of different victims and whether any counts merge for resentencing. Vacated and remanded.