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Name: People v. Stewart
Case #: C040094
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/03/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 9/15/04

Appellant was convicted of multiple sex offenses, and sentenced under both the One Strike law (Pen. Code, sec, 667.61) and the Three Strikes law to three consecutive 15-year-to-life terms, each tripled to 45 years to life, plus five years for a prior serious felony conviction, and one year for a prior prison term. On appeal, he contended that the use of the One Strike law on counts one, two, and three was improper because the counts involved three offenses committed against one victim, S.S., on one date, October 1. He argued that under the statute, the multiple victim provision is the only possible basis for the application of section 667.61, but that there was only one victim on October 1, and the court cannot bootstrap offenses committed on September 3 against multiple victims onto the charges which arose from the crimes against S.S. alone on October 1. The appellate court here found no error. Even though there was only one victim on October 1, there were multiple victims of appellant’s criminal acts and the offenses against each of those victims were tried together in the present case. The One Strike law applies to all of the charged offenses. However, the court erred when it sentenced appellant to three life terms for the three October 1 offenses. Section 667.61, subdivision (g), authorizes only one such term for offenses committed against a single victim on a single occasion. Therefore appellant could be sentenced to only one life term under section 667.61 for the offenses against S.S. on October 1.