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Name: People v. Rowe
Case #: D063847
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/04/2014

Magistrate erred in not binding over defendant on charges of soliciting rape and forcible sodomy where she posted online ads for sexual partners for an unwitting victim. Rowe became angry at the victim and her husband after they outbid her for the purchase of a house. As part of a series of harassing acts to retaliate against the victims, Rowe impersonated the female victim and posted an online advertisement seeking sexual partners for liaisons to occur while the victim’s husband was at work. Several men responded and, during sexually explicit email exchanges, Rowe, still impersonating the victim, encouraged them to appear unannounced at the victim’s home and engage in forcible sexual acts, even if she feigned resistance. Rowe was charged with soliciting forcible rape and forcible sodomy (Pen. Code, § 653f, subd. (c)). After the preliminary hearing, the magistrate dismissed the charges, concluding Rowe lacked the requisite specific intent. The superior court denied the prosecution’s Penal Code section 871.5 motion to reinstate. Held: Reversed. The circumstances here supplied a rational ground for believing that Rowe intended the men to engage in forcible sexual acts against the victim’s will. The evidence created “a reasonable inference Rowe intended the men to take indecent liberties with, lay hold of, or kiss the victim against her will” when they contacted her. Although the evidence did not show the men who were solicited perceived Rowe’s request as solicitation to commit rape or forcible sodomy, it is sufficient that she requested they perform acts, which, if completed, would have amounted to these crimes. “Solicitation focuses on the intention and action of the solicitor, not the solicitee.” The crime is complete when the request is made with the requisite intent; the solicitor’s use of an innocent agent does not vitiate criminal culpability.