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Name: People v. Matute
Case #: B155099
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 12/05/2002
Subsequent History: None
Summary

Appellant was convicted of 15 counts of forcible rape. The victim, appellant’s 15 year old daughter, testified that appellant began touching her in a sexual way when she was six years old, and having sexual intercourse with her when she was 12. This occurred a couple of times a month, and appellant would beat her if she resisted. After they moved, when she was 15, the frequency of assaults increased. On appeal, appellant argued that his due process rights were violated because the victim failed to give specific details regarding the time and circumstances of each count for which he was charged. The appellate court here affirmed. In People v. Jones, our Supreme Court held that in resident child molestation cases, as long as the victim specifies the type of conduct involved, its frequency, and that the conduct occurred during the limitation period, nothing more is required to established the substantiality of the victim’s testimony. Further, prosecution based on generic testimony does not deprive the defendant of a due process right to defend against the charges against him. Although Jones applied to child molestation cases, the reasoning and conclusions reached in that case apply to the circumstances presented here. Appellant could aptly be called a resident child molester. Further, the court did not err by failing to give a unanimity instruction. Based on the evidence presented and the instructions given, there was no reasonable probability that the jury failed to agree that the charged crimes took place in the number and manner described.