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Commonwealth v. Cuevas (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-028-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1792                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  EAGLE EYES CUEVAS.[1] No. 13-P-1792. Hampden.     December 9, 2014. – March 24, 2015.   Present:  Cypher, Wolohojian, & Blake, JJ. Sex Offender.  Evidence, Sex offender, Prior conviction, Authentication.  Due Process of Law, Sex offender, Assistance of counsel.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Civil, Challenge of jurors.  Practice, Criminal, Challenge to jurors, Assistance of counsel, Waiver.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on July 12, 2010.   The case was tried before Constance M. Sweeney, J.     Edward B. Fogarty for the defendant. Deborah D. Ahlstrom, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.      BLAKE, J.  After a jury trial in the Superior Court, the defendant, Eagle Eyes Cuevas, was found to be a sexually dangerous person and committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center at Bridgewater for between one day and life.  On appeal, Cuevas argues that it was reversible error to admit prior out-of-State convictions, claiming that the records were not properly authenticated and did not demonstrate that he was represented by counsel.  He also claims that it was error to deny his request for fourteen peremptory jury challenges.  We affirm. Background.  At trial, the Commonwealth presented the reports and testimony of two qualified examiners, Dr. Katrin Rouse-Weir and Dr. Michael Murphy.  Both examiners interviewed Cuevas and reviewed his treatment records, his Department of Correction records, and his criminal history, which included both sexual and drug offenses.  As a result of their work, both opined that Cuevas was a pedophile who was likely to reoffend and therefore met the statutory definition of a sexually dangerous person as set forth in G. L. c. 123A.[2]  Cuevas presented no expert evidence of his own. The jury could have found the following regarding Cuevas’s history of offenses.  In 1995, in New York, he pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse in the first degree for touching a girl’s breast.[3]  Cuevas received a committed sentence of eighteen months to three years in prison.  In 2004, in Massachusetts, Cuevas was convicted of rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen for sexual assaults that occurred on diverse dates between 1999 and 2003.[4]  Cuevas received a sentence of not less than five but no more than seven years in prison with lifetime community parole. Discussion.  1.  Admission of the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

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