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Name: People v. Mullens
Case #: D041452
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/17/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 9/22/04

Appellant was charged with multiple sex offenses against two minor victims, SS and VA. Prior to this second trial, he was acquitted of the offense against VA, and the jury deadlocked on the offense against SS. At the second trial, he was tried on the offenses against SS. The defense moved to exclude evidence of uncharged sex offenses involving VA, as well as two other minors. The court denied his motion, ruling that VA’s testimony was admissible as Evidence Code section 1108 propensity evidence. The defense requested leave to present to the jury a verdict form showing that appellant had been acquitted of the offenses against VA. The court ruled it was inadmissible. The appellate court reversed, holding that in a sex offense prosecution where the trial court has admitted section 1108 evidence that the defendant has committed an uncharged sex offense, it is error to exclude admission of evidence that the defendant has been acquitted of that offense, and such error is reversible if it is prejudicial under the Watson harmless error test. Here, the excluded evidence of the acquittal of the previously charged sex offense against VA was admissible as a matter of law. It is reasonably probable that the jury would have reached a result more favorable to Mullens had the court not erroneously excluded the evidence of his acquittal regarding the alleged offense.