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Name: People v. Miramontes
Case #: D054976
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/04/2010

Evidence Code section 1108 allows the use of uncharged acts occurring in a foreign country as long as those incidents involve conduct which is comparable to a California sex offense. At appellant’s trial for sex offenses committed on three boys who lived in his apartment complex, the prosecution sought to introduce evidence of uncharged sex offenses committed against two children who lived near appellant in Mexico. Over defense objection, this evidence was allowed under Evidence Code sections 1108 (propensity evidence) and 1101, subdivision (b) (intent or common plan). On appeal, appellant argued evidentiary error and claimed the error violated due process. Appellant also argued for the first time on appeal that the offenses arising in Mexico should not have been admitted because section 1108 specifically defines a sex offense as a crime arising “under the law of a state or the United States….” Even though the court found the argument forfeited, it also rejected the claim on the merits. The inquiry should not be where the prior conduct occurred, but rather, whether the substance of foreign conduct fits the description of the conduct described in the statute. The court analogized to the inquiry made in determining whether out-of-state priors qualify as prior serious felony enhancements. (Pen. Code, § 667.) Next, the court held the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting these uncharged acts, finding they were not too remote, dissimilar or prejudicial. Then the Court of Appeal summarily rejected the due process allegation based on People v. Falsetta (1999) 21 Cal.4th 903. Finally, the court summarily rejected a due process challenge to CALCRIM No. 1191 regarding uncharged crimes based on People v. Reliford (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1007.