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December 2012 Archives

Evidence Sufficient to Convict of Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure

The Tennessee crime of sexual battery by an authority figure involves unlawful sexual contact with a person age thirteen through seventeen, accomplished by using legal, professional, or occupational status placing the offender in a position of trust, supervisory, or legal authority over the victim. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-13-527. On appeal of the Defendant's conviction for this crime in the recent case of State v. Beu, E2012-00176-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-20-2012), the Defendant argued that a Defendant should not be convicted of sexual battery without some physical evidence corroborating the testimonial evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals rejected that argument.

Evidence Sufficient to Convict of Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure

The Tennessee crime of sexual battery by an authority figure involves unlawful sexual contact with a person age thirteen through seventeen, accomplished by using legal, professional, or occupational status placing the offender in a position of trust, supervisory, or legal authority over the victim. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-13-527. On appeal of the Defendant's conviction for this crime in the recent case of State v. Beu, E2012-00176-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-20-2012), the Defendant argued that a Defendant should not be convicted of sexual battery without some physical evidence corroborating the testimonial evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals rejected that argument.

Evidence Sufficient to Convict of Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure

The Tennessee crime of sexual battery by an authority figure involves unlawful sexual contact with a person age thirteen through seventeen, accomplished by using legal, professional, or occupational status placing the offender in a position of trust, supervisory, or legal authority over the victim. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-13-527. On appeal of the Defendant's conviction for this crime in the recent case of State v. Beu, E2012-00176-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-20-2012), the Defendant argued that a Defendant should not be convicted of sexual battery without some physical evidence corroborating the testimonial evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals rejected that argument.

Misunderstanding of Sex Offender Probation Doesn't Invalidate Plea

Sex offender probation requirements are generally more extensive and rigid than the typical probation requirements for other criminal convictions. Rules regarding where the probationer may live and work and what activities a probationer may engage in are generally more restrictive. A sex offender probationer's access to the Internet may be prohibited or restricted. Failing to properly register as a sex offender can be both a new criminal offense and a probation violation. In the recent case of Privette v. State, M2011-02640-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-11-2012), an individual who had pled guilty to incest sought to vacate his guilty plea on the basis that neither the trial court nor his attorney properly advised him regarding the specific probationary requirements he would be subjected to as a result of the conviction.

Misunderstanding of Sex Offender Probation Doesn't Invalidate Plea

Sex offender probation requirements are generally more extensive and rigid than the typical probation requirements for other criminal convictions. Rules regarding where the probationer may live and work and what activities a probationer may engage in are generally more restrictive. A sex offender probationer's access to the Internet may be prohibited or restricted. Failing to properly register as a sex offender can be both a new criminal offense and a probation violation. In the recent case of Privette v. State, M2011-02640-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-11-2012), an individual who had pled guilty to incest sought to vacate his guilty plea on the basis that neither the trial court nor his attorney properly advised him regarding the specific probationary requirements he would be subjected to as a result of the conviction.

Misunderstanding of Sex Offender Probation Doesn't Invalidate Plea

Sex offender probation requirements are generally more extensive and rigid than the typical probation requirements for other criminal convictions. Rules regarding where the probationer may live and work and what activities a probationer may engage in are generally more restrictive. A sex offender probationer's access to the Internet may be prohibited or restricted. Failing to properly register as a sex offender can be both a new criminal offense and a probation violation. In the recent case of Privette v. State, M2011-02640-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-11-2012), an individual who had pled guilty to incest sought to vacate his guilty plea on the basis that neither the trial court nor his attorney properly advised him regarding the specific probationary requirements he would be subjected to as a result of the conviction.

Boy Scout Connection Did Not Require Judicial Recusal

Judicial recusal is appropriate when there is a reasonable basis to question a judge's impartiality. Defendants in criminal cases have a right to an unbiased, impartial judge. In the recent case of Brennan v. State, M2012-00187-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-4-2012), a defendant who had pled guilty to incest and attempted rape of a child, and received a total effective sentence of twenty years in prison, later discovered that the sentencing Judge's son was in the same Boy Scout Troop with the Defendant. The Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief seeking a new sentencing hearing and recusal of the same judge from hearing the post-conviction claim.

Boy Scout Connection Did Not Require Judicial Recusal

Judicial recusal is appropriate when there is a reasonable basis to question a judge's impartiality. Defendants in criminal cases have a right to an unbiased, impartial judge. In the recent case of Brennan v. State, M2012-00187-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-4-2012), a defendant who had pled guilty to incest and attempted rape of a child, and received a total effective sentence of twenty years in prison, later discovered that the sentencing Judge's son was in the same Boy Scout Troop with the Defendant. The Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief seeking a new sentencing hearing and recusal of the same judge from hearing the post-conviction claim.

Boy Scout Connection Did Not Require Judicial Recusal

Judicial recusal is appropriate when there is a reasonable basis to question a judge's impartiality. Defendants in criminal cases have a right to an unbiased, impartial judge. In the recent case of Brennan v. State, M2012-00187-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-4-2012), a defendant who had pled guilty to incest and attempted rape of a child, and received a total effective sentence of twenty years in prison, later discovered that the sentencing Judge's son was in the same Boy Scout Troop with the Defendant. The Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief seeking a new sentencing hearing and recusal of the same judge from hearing the post-conviction claim.

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