As a result, the factors set forth in this opinion, and the weight given to those factors, are merely illustrative of the legal relevance analysis article I, section 18(c) requires. Graham, Jr., 22B Federal Practice and Procedure: Federal Rules of Evidence § 5259 (2d ed. Here, Williams pleaded guilty to the 1996 charge, removing any doubt as to whether he had committed the criminal act, and the evidence of his 1996 conviction came in principally by way of a stipulation read to the jury. This is the source of the circuit court's concern with the similarity between the prior criminal act and the charged crime and with the amount of time between the two. For example, an inference of propensity might be proper notwithstanding a significant time lapse between the prior crime and the charged crime if the two crimes are highly similar. This Court's short-lived “corroboration” theory is an illustration of this approach. Williams argues article I, section 18(c) lacks the protection Rule 403 provides to Rule 414 because he claims, unlike these federal rules of evidence, the Missouri constitutional language merely allows – but does not require – the circuit court to exclude evidence when “the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.” Notwithstanding the word “may” in Rule 403, federal courts uniformly have held propensity evidence must pass the legal relevance test in Rule 403 before it can be admitted under Rule 413 or 414. The defense induced at least six witnesses who had not discussed Williams's prior criminal act on direct examination to discuss the matter on cross-examination.
Shortly thereafter, the state charged Williams with three counts of first-degree statutory sodomy. To make such a showing, Williams must demonstrate a rule forbidding the use of propensity evidence in prosecutions for sex offenses committed against minors is a “fundamental principle of justice.” Id. The State may not show defendant's prior trouble with the law, specific criminal acts, or ill name among his neighbors, even though such facts might logically be persuasive that he is by propensity a probable perpetrator of the crime. 469, 475-76 (1948) (citation and footnotes omitted). 172, 180-82 (1997), though it has never squarely held due process forbids the admission of propensity evidence in the prosecution's case-in-chief, e.g., Estelle v. The practice of admitting evidence of the defendant's prior sexual misconduct for purposes of proving the defendant's propensity to commit the sex offense with which he was charged has long been a feature of American law. See also Leonard, supra, § 3.3.6 at 145-55 (examining sex offense cases and concluding some nineteenth century courts “almost certainly violated the ban on character as circumstantial evidence of conduct” in such cases); Thomas J. Potentially devastating evidence of little or no relevance would have to be excluded under Rule 403. As the Castillo court noted, “to ask that question is to answer it.” Rule 414 is constitutional on its face. See also Schaffer, 851 F.3d at 180 (“[P]ropensity evidence may cause ‘undue prejudice’ to a defendant and, as a result, threaten his right to a fair trial.
The state subsequently filed an information in lieu of indictment alleging Williams should be sentenced as a predatory sexual offender. banc 2013) (a party raising a facial challenge must show there is “no set of circumstances ․ under which the [challenged law] may be constitutionally applied”). Historical practice is this Court's primary guide in deciding whether there is such a rule and whether that rule is a “fundamental principle of justice.” Id. The inquiry is not rejected because character is irrelevant; on the contrary, it is said to weigh too much with the jury and to so overpersuade them as to prejudge one with a bad general record and deny him a fair opportunity to defend against a particular charge. Since Michelson, the Supreme Court has continued to praise the common law tradition of excluding propensity evidence, e.g., Old Chief v. Reed, Reading Gaol Revisited: Admission of Uncharged Misconduct Evidence in Sex Offender Cases, 21 Am. Indeed, this is exactly what Rule 403 was designed to do. However, ․ the protections provided in Rule 403 ․ effectively mitigate the danger of unfair prejudice resulting from the admission of propensity evidence in sexual-assault cases.”); Mound, 149 F.3d at 800-01 (“Rule 413, subject to the constraints of Rule 403, is constitutional.”); Castillo, 140 F.3d at 883 (“[A]pplication of Rule 403 to Rule 414 evidence eliminates the due process concerns posed by Rule 414.”); Enjady, 134 F.3d at 1433 (10th Cir.
See Reed, supra, at 171 (“By the ‘roaring 20s,’ twenty-three American jurisdictions admitted evidence of prior sexual misconduct between defendant and victim in statutory rape cases to prove the defendant's lustful disposition.”) (footnote omitted). Even states that do not expressly admit propensity evidence as such will admit it by claiming it is not truly propensity evidence. On the other hand, courts have routinely allowed propensity evidence in sex-offense cases, even while disallowing it in other criminal prosecutions.
Many of these cases dealt with sexual offenses against minors, such as statutory rape. In states without a rule or statute, courts admit evidence of a defendant's sexual misconduct through “a ‘lustful disposition’ or sexual proclivity exception to the general rule barring the use of [propensity] evidence.” 1A John Henry Wigmore, Evidence in Trials at Common Law § 62.2, at 1335 (Tillers rev. See also Reed, supra, at 200 (“A surprising number of ․ jurisdictions ․ retain one version or another of the lustful disposition rule alongside the more modern character evidence rules.”). In rejecting a challenge that Rule 414 is unconstitutional on its face, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals conducted an historical survey similar to the one above and concluded: On the one hand, it seems clear that the general ban on propensity evidence has the requisite historical pedigree to qualify for constitutional status ․.
The circuit court sentenced Williams as a predatory sexual offender to three concurrent sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 50 years. Williams appealed, and the court of appeals transferred the case to this Court on the ground that the appeal raised an issue within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of this Court as set forth in article V, section 3, of the Missouri Constitution. Early in their relationship, Williams informed Mother he had a prior conviction for sexually molesting a young girl. At the time, Mother and Father were still living together. 1912) (explaining that a “long recognized and well established” exception to the “rule that the prosecution may not prove another and distinct offense of the same kind for the purpose of rendering it more probable that [the defendant] committed the offense for which he is on trial ․ [applies] in prosecutions involving sexual offenses”); State v. Finally, and of particular note, Federal Rule of Evidence 414 allows the use of evidence in federal cases that the defendant committed a prior act of child molestation for the purpose of demonstrating propensity to commit the act of child molestation with which defendant is charged. Today, state courts that do not have evidentiary rules comparable to Federal Rules 414 through 415 allow this evidence either by stretching traditional 404(b) exceptions to the ban on character evidence or by resorting to the so-called “lustful disposition” exception, which, in its purest form, is a rule allowing for propensity inferences in sex crime cases.
That issue is whether article I, section 18(c), added to the Missouri Constitution in 2014, violates due process. For similar reasons, this Court rejects Williams's due process challenge to article I, section 18(c). Mother continued to maintain a relationship with Williams and later introduced Williams to M. When Father discovered Williams was a registered sex offender, he repeatedly told Mother he did not want Williams around the children. Thus, “the history of evidentiary rules regarding a criminal defendant's sexual propensities is ambiguous at best, particularly with regard to sexual abuse of children.” [Castillo, 140 F.3d at 881.]Le May, 260 F.3d at 1025-26 (some internal citations omitted).
Article I, section 18(c) is an amalgam of Federal Rules of Evidence 414 and 403. 2001) (rejecting claim, in part because of the protections provided by Rule 403, that Rule 414 violates due process on its face); United States v. This Court also rejects Williams's claims that the circuit court misapplied this provision either: (1) by failing to make an express finding the probative value of Williams's prior conviction was not substantially outweighed by the prejudicial effect of that evidence, or (2) by admitting that evidence even though its probative value was substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect. Background In November 1996, Williams, then 26 years old, pleaded guilty to first-degree statutory sodomy for inserting his thumb in a minor child's vagina. In February 2004, Mother left Father and took Victim and Victim's two older siblings with her. 1938), this Court explained the admission of a defendant's prior sexual misconduct with the victim for propensity purposes is “almost universally ․ allowed in prosecutions for crimes involving the sexual relation, such as adultery, incest, lewdness, rape, seduction, and sodomy.” See also People v. In rejecting the due process challenge to Rule 414, Le May not only concludes the historical practice is “ambiguous,” it also relies heavily on the protections provided by Rule 403.
Every federal circuit that has considered a similar due process challenge has rejected it. He was sentenced to five years in prison but, after completing a 120-day program in a sex offender assessment unit, execution of his sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for five years. Shortly thereafter, Mother allowed Williams to move in with her and her children. The first instance of abuse to which Victim testified occurred in 2008, when she was roughly eight years old. Under Rule 403, a district court “may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of ․ unfair prejudice.” Joining every federal circuit court to address the question, Le May holds the protections of Rule 403 rebut a challenge that Rule 414 violates due process on its face. 2000) (rejecting claim that Rule 415, which allows for introduction of prior sexual misconduct in civil sexual assault or child molestation cases, eliminates balancing protections of Rule 403).
Victim and Williams were eating candy and, when Victim said she wanted the last piece, Williams told her she could not have it unless she took “off all [her] clothes and let him play with [her] butt.” Williams eventually coerced Victim into taking off all her clothes in his bedroom and touched her bottom while playing with himself. Tellier, Annotation, Admissibility, in Prosecution for Sexual Offense, of Evidence of Other Similar Offenses, 167 A. The introduction of relevant evidence, by itself, cannot amount to a constitutional violation. We join these courts in holding that Rule 414 does not violate the Due Process Clause of the constitution.