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Name: People v. Power
Case #: E041445
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/18/2008

Forcing victim into sex acts at specified locations by means of threats constitutes kidnap for the purposes of a sexual offense. Power sent the victim a series of anonymous threatening letters which caused her to have non-consensual sex with and turn over sums of money to him. Power appealed his conviction for kidnaping for purposes of a sexual offense (Pen. Code, sec. 209, subd. (b)(1), contending that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction. He contended that there was insufficient evidence that he effected movement of the victim by force or fear, and that there was insufficient evidence that the movement went beyond that merely incidental to or increased the risk of harm to the victim. The appellate court rejected the argument. The letters told the victim that her family would be harmed if she refused to comply or if she went to the police, and the victim sincerely believed the threats. When the victim did move, she was acting out of fear induced by the threats. Power made the victim go to a motel and a cemetery to decrease the risk of detection and in order to videotape the proceedings. His choice of locations increased the risk of psychological harm to the victim. There was substantial evidence that the movements of the victim were not merely incidental to, and increased the risk of harm from the underlying offenses.