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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: F050831
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/14/2007
Summary

Evidence of prior sexual offense was admissible despite the fact that it resulted in a conviction for an offense which was not a sex offense. Lopez was convicted of five sexual offenses involving the rape of his 16-year-old half sister. On appeal, he argue that the trial court erred when it admitted evidence pursuant to Evidence Code section 1108 that he previously assaulted his cousin. He contended that the evidence should have been excluded because the confrontation resulted in a conviction for false imprisonment, and since false imprisonment is not a sex offense, it should not have been admitted under section 1108. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that although the conviction was for false imprisonment, the conduct leading to the conviction was a sex offense. Evidence Code section 1108 permits testimony about prior sexual offenses. Further, uncharged sex offenses are admissible under section 1108. It would be absurd to conclude that because Lopez was convicted of a different crime, testimony concerning the offense was not admissible. There is no authority for an assertion that a prior act may not be introduced pursuant to section 1108 if a defendant was convicted of a crime that is not a sexual offense, and there is no reason for so concluding.