Posts tagged "1105413"

Commonwealth v. Dumas (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-054-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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       12‑P‑587                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ROY DUMAS.     No. 12‑P‑587. Worcester.     March 7, 2013.  ‑  April 24, 2013. Present:  Berry, Sikora, & Milkey, JJ.   Rape.  Indecent Assault and Battery.  Practice, Criminal, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury.  Evidence, First complaint.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 5 and September 16, 2004.   After consolidation, the cases were tried before Richard T. Tucker, J.     Robert E. Fox for the defendant. Donna‑Marie Haran, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     MILKEY, J.  Following a jury trial in Superior Court, the defendant was convicted of rape of a child, G. L. c. 265, § 23; indecent assault and battery, G. L. c. 265, § 13H; and four counts of rape, G. L. c. 265, § 22(b).  On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions, that he was prejudiced by errors in the Commonwealth’s closing argument and in the jury instructions, and that a violation of the first complaint doctrine created a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice.  We affirm. Background.  We briefly summarize the evidence at trial, reserving certain details for later discussion.  The defendant’s convictions relate to a series of offenses committed against a teenage victim over the span of approximately one year, from early 2003 to early 2004.  The victim, a child of Hmong refugees from Laos, testified that at the time of the assaults she practiced a religion called Houplle.  Pursuant to the tenets of Houplle, the victim believed that the spirits of her ancestors watched over her and possessed great influence over her life.  The victim’s testimony indicated that the defendant was aware of her religious beliefs, and that he preyed on those beliefs by telling her that if she did not submit to his sexual demands her ancestors would hurt her and her family.  She testified that she believed him, at least in part due to his claim (corroborated by other students at the victim’s high school) that he was the leader of a “secret organization” that “only Asians and Native Americans could join,” whose purpose was to “help people who were in need.” According to the victim, the defendant presented the assaults to the victim as either “tests” to see if she could join the organization or “penalties” for her misbehavior, and told her […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

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