In a recent opinion issued by the Seventh District Court in Texas, the court denied the defendant’s appeal of his sexual assault conviction. Originally, the defendant was arrested, charged, and convicted based on an incident in which he sexually assaulted an acquaintance of his at a party while she was intoxicated. Appealing the decision, the defendant emphasized that he should not have been convicted because there was insufficient evidence to show he knew the acquaintance was intoxicated. Reviewing the record in the case, the higher court eventually denied the defendant’s appeal.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was attending a party on New Year’s Eve with a group of friends. At one point during the party, the defendant and his girlfriend went to check on an acquaintance that was intoxicated and laying on an upstairs bed. The defendant’s girlfriend went to the bathroom, at which point the defendant forced himself on the acquaintance in the bed.
When the defendant’s girlfriend came out of the bathroom, the defendant immediately backed away. The pair then left the bedroom. Later, the acquaintance told another person at the party she thought she had been sexually assaulted. She was taken to the police station, and after some discussion with the investigators, the defendant was arrested and charged.
The case went to trial, and the defendant was found guilty of sexual assault. The defendant appealed, arguing that it was unreasonable for the jury to find that he knew the woman was intoxicated. If he did not know about her intoxication, he would not have necessarily known that she did not consent to the sexual interaction.
Looking at the evidence, the court of appeals found that it was evident, both to the defendant and the jury, that the woman was intoxicated. The defendant had gone to the bedroom with his girlfriend to check on the woman, and it was common knowledge at the party that the woman was laying down to recover from the alcohol she had consumed. In addition, said the court, the woman had recently lost over 100 pounds from an unrelated surgery, and the alcohol she drank had a much greater effect on her as a result. These facts made it clear to the defendant that the woman was intoxicated and, thus, that she could not consent to the interaction.
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At Guest & Gray, we understand that sexual assault charges can feel daunting, and we pledge to stand by you every step of the way in your case. Our goal for all of our clients is to get their charges dropped as soon as possible so that they can move on with their lives and re-focus on what matters most to them. For a free and confidential consultation with a member of our team, call us today at 972-564-4644. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about your case.