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Name: People v. Shenouda
Case #: E061954
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/11/2015
Summary

Defendant’s multiple uncharged sexual battery offenses supported the court’s denial of probation and imposition of six-year midterm sentence for lewd acts upon a child. A jury convicted Shenouda of committing a lewd act upon a 13-year-old girl, Brianna, for grabbing and squeezing her buttocks. It acquitted him of a child molestation charge regarding Brianna, as well as sexual battery charges against Brianna’s mother. The trial court denied probation and sentenced Shenouda to the statutory middle term of six years in state prison. Shenouda appealed the trial court’s sentencing decisions, arguing that the court improperly relied on findings that he lacked remorse, and had committed sexual offenses against other women who testified at trial under Evidence Code section 1108. Held: Affirmed. A trial court has broad discretion to consider relevant evidence at sentencing. Here, the trial court did not abuse it discretion when it denied probation and imposed a middle term six-year sentence based on concerns about Shenouda’s recidivism. Four other women testified that Shenouda had committed sexual batteries against them, and defendant’s employer had reprimanded him for one of those incidents. This section 1108 evidence was relevant to show Shenouda’s proclivity to commit sexual batteries and the trial court was permitted to consider it when determining the appropriate sentence. (See Pen. Code, § 1170, subd. (b); Cal. Rules of Court, rules 4.414(b)(8), 4.408(a).) The evidence of Shenouda’s other sexual offenses provided a reasonable basis for denying probation and for selecting the middle term. The trial court also did not err in considering Shenouda’s lack of remorse to deny probation, and it did not find lack of remorse to be a reason to aggravate the sentence.