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State v. Guffey

Court of Appeals of Oregon

May 16, 2018

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
RICHARD E. GUFFEY, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted January 19, 2016

          Lincoln County Circuit Court 122848; Paulette E. Sanders, Judge.

          Janet Lee Hoffman argued the cause for appellant. With her on the briefs was Sara F. Werboff.

          Michael A. Casper, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and Matthew J. Lysne, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Chief Judge, and Shorr, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment convicting him of one count of first-degree sexual abuse, ORS 163.427. In his first three assignments of error, he challenges pretrial rulings in which the trial court quashed subpoenas for school and Department of Human Services (DHS) records pertaining to the complainant and his cousin without conducting an in camera inspection of the records. Defendant claims that he was entitled under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), to the production of the records or to an in camera review of them because they contained evidence that was favorable and material to his defense. Held: Defendant failed to meet his burden of making a threshold showing of materiality and favorability with regard to the DHS records and one set of school records. However, defendant did make a sufficient threshold showing with regard to the other school records, and thus the trial court erred in denying defendant's request for an in camera inspection of those records without first engaging in an exercise of discretion to determine whether an in camera inspection would be appropriate.

         Vacated and remanded.

         [291 Or.App. 730] ARMSTRONG, P. J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment convicting him of first-degree sexual abuse, ORS 163.427. In his first three assignments of error, he challenges pretrial rulings in which the trial court quashed subpoenas for school and Department of Human Services (DHS) records pertaining to the complainant (V) and his cousin (IA) without conducting an in camera review of the records.[1] He claims that he was entitled under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), to the production of the records or an in camera review of them because they contained evidence that was favorable and material to his defense. We conclude that defendant failed to meet his burden of making a threshold showing of materiality and favorability with regard to V's school records and IAs DHS records. However, defendant did make a sufficient threshold showing with regard to IAs school records, and thus the trial court erred in denying defendant's request for an in camera review without first engaging in an exercise of discretion to determine whether such a review would be appropriate. We therefore vacate and remand for the trial court to determine whether to review IAs school records in camera.

         When V was six years old, he lived with his mother (Jones), his aunt, and his older cousin, IA. V and his family attended the First Baptist Church, and V participated in a church-sponsored after-school program called the Good News Club. Although defendant was a member of a different church, he occasionally attended events at the First Baptist Church and volunteered with the Good News Club. Jones first met defendant at a First Baptist Church Halloween party in October 2010, when he introduced himself and told her that he knew V from the Good News Club.

         Shortly after they met, Jones began working for defendant as a house cleaner. V would sometimes join his [291 Or.App. 731] mother while she cleaned defendant's house. On those occasions, V and defendant would spend time together. One day, V asked to spend the night at defendant's house, to which defendant and Jones agreed.

         In May 2011, V spent a night with defendant at defendant's house. He and defendant played with puzzles and watched a movie. While the movie was playing, defendant told V to come over and sit beside him in an armchair. When V complied, defendant reached into V's pants and touched his penis. After the movie, V went to sleep in the downstairs guest room, while defendant spent the night upstairs in his bedroom. The next morning, defendant dropped V off with Jones at defendant's church. Jones asked V if he had had a good time at defendant's house, and V said yes.

         At some point in the spring of 2011, Jones told defendant that she would no longer have any contact with him. Jones testified that she had gotten into a conflict with members of the First Baptist Church and had posted a message related to that conflict on her Facebook page. When defendant asked her to remove the message, she complied but sought to explain to defendant her reasons for posting the message. However, defendant would not listen to her explanation, and she became angry because she felt that defendant was not supporting her. She told defendant that she would not be able to clean for him anymore. Jones also cut off contact with several members of the First Baptist Church and, sometime in the spring of 2011, she and her family were banned from the church.

         In the fall of 2011, Jones and V were home watching television when V placed his hand on Jones's upper right thigh. She told V that that was inappropriate and then asked if anyone had touched him like that before. V told her that defendant had put his hand down V's pants and touched him on the night of the sleepover. Jones did not report the incident to law enforcement; although she considered what happened to be inappropriate, she did not think it was a crime.

         In October 2011, Jones sent a note to a member of the First Baptist Church stating that V had "lost his innocence [291 Or.App. 732] due to an 'inappropriate relationship' with a revered gentleman." In January 2012, Jones emailed a different member of the church and again made a reference to V being sexually abused. The recipient of the email contacted the church's pastor, who then reported the incident to law enforcement in early February 2012. The ...


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