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Name: People v. Brandon
Case #: B186361
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 12/15/2006
Subsequent History: review granted 3/28/07, S149371

In this multi-count pimping and pandering case, the court considered the following issues: (1) Face to face confrontation does not mean a right to “eye to eye” confrontation. A defendant’s constitutional right to confront accusatory witnesses may be satisfied absent a physical, face-to-face confrontation at trial only where denial of such confrontation is necessary to further an important public policy and only where the reliability of the testimony is otherwise assured. Here, defendant complained of the witness wearing sunglasses and a head covering. The witness was reluctant to testify without having her face somewhat concealed, reporting that she had been threatened. The court noted that even with the glasses, the court, jury, and defendant were able to hear the testimony and responses to cross examination as well as view her facial expressions and body language such that no constitutional violation occurred. (2) Failure to object to the qualifications of an expert witness testifying at trial as to the sub-culture of pimping and pandering results in forfeiture of the issue on direct appeal. (3) Opinion testimony can include testimony dealing with the sub-culture of pimping and pandering as it is outside the knowledge of the average person and such evidence would assist the average juror. (4) Opinion testimony described above does not amount to a type of prohibited “profile” testimony. Profile testimony is not inadmissable per se but only if it is either irrelevant, lacks a foundation, or is more prejudicial than probative. (People v. Smith (2005) 35 Cal.4th 334.) (5) On the facts of this case, there was a 654 violation where the court failed to stay a sentence for false imprisonment where the act occurred as part of defendant’s effort to pander by use of threats.