Skip to content
Name: People v. Riskin
Case #: F047102
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/22/2006
Summary

Appellant was charged with forcible lewd acts on his daughter pursuant to an extension of the statute of limitations under former Penal Code section 803(g). On appeal, he argued that instructing the jury on preponderance of the evidence and clear and convincing evidence as the burdens of proof of extension of the statute of limitations and independent corroboration of the children’s accusations, respectively, denied him of his constitutional right to due process. The appellate court rejected the argument. The Constitution only requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt where a fact increases the penalty. An extension of the statute of limitations and independent corroboration of the children’s accusations are neither elements of the crime nor facts that establish punishment. The statute of limitations is not an ingredient of an offense but a substantive matter for which the prosecution’s burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence. Further, California case law and statutory law designate preponderance of the evidence as the standard of proof in statute of limitations issues and clear and convincing evidence as the standard of proof of independent corroboration. Appellant also argued that his impeachment with statements from a pretext call with his daughter violated his constitutional right to silence and to counsel because she deliberately acted as a police agent to secure incriminating statements from him. The appellate court also rejected this challenge, finding that the daughter made the call before appellant’s right to counsel attached. (Eight days prior to the filing of the complaint.)