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State v. Hudspeth

Court of Appeals of Oregon

June 20, 2018

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
GLEN ALLEN HUDSPETH, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted June 2, 2017

          Harney County Circuit Court 140105CR, 140144CR; W. D. Cramer, Jr., Judge.

          Travis Eiva argued the cause and fled the brief for appellant.

          Jeff J. Payne, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before DeVore, Presiding Judge, and Garrett, Judge, and Edmonds, Senior Judge.

         Case Summary: Defendant appeals judgments of conviction for multiple sexual offenses perpetrated against his minor ward. Defendant assigns error to the trial court's admission of his wife's out-of-court statements, in which she stated that defendant had admitted to sexually abusing the victim. In the trial court, defendant's wife testified that, due to a lack of memory, she did not know whether her out-of-court statements were true or false. On appeal, defendant argues that wife's lack of memory deprived him of an adequate opportunity to cross-examine her about the statements, and, therefore, admission of the statements violated the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Held: The trial court did not err in admitting the statements. Defendant's wife testified at trial and was subject to unconstrained cross-examination, and, therefore, defendant's confrontation rights under the Sixth Amendment were satisfied.

          [292 Or.App. 478] GARRETT, J.

         In two criminal cases, defendant was convicted of multiple sex offenses committed against his 15-year-old ward, J.[1] In a consolidated appeal from the resulting judgments, defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion to exclude out-of-court statements made by his wife, Glenda Hudspeth, to police officers, a grand jury, and a social-service provider. In those statements, Glenda said that defendant had admitted to sexually abusing J. Defendant argues that the trial court's admission of the statements violated the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution because, at the time of trial, his wife claimed that she did not remember making the statements at issue.[2] Defendant argues that, in light of wife's claimed lack of memory, he was deprived of the right to cross-examine her, and, therefore, her out-of-court statements were inadmissible.

         "Because the trial resulted in convictions on all counts, we state the background facts in the light most favorable to the state." State v. Nelson, 246 Or.App. 91, 93, 265 P.3d 8 (2011) (citing State v. Haugen, 349 Or. 174, 176, 243 P.3d 31 (2010)). "We review a constitutional confrontation challenge to the admission of evidence for errors of law." State v. Townsenal, 290 Or.App. 919, 922, 417 P.3d 571 (2018).

         J and E lived with defendant and his wife, Glenda; J was the Hudspeths' ward, and E was their foster child. J was developmentally delayed. At the time of the offenses- alleged to have occurred between September 1, 2010 and December 30, 2013-J was from 12 to 15 years old.

         On the night of December 30, 2013, after both E and J went to bed, E heard noises coming from J's room. E [292 Or.App. 479] went to J's room and turned on the light. She saw defendant engaged in oral sexual contact with J. Defendant said he was "just comforting" J and left the room. E asked J "how long * * * this was going on and why she didn't ask for help." J told E that it had started "right after she'd gotten adopted [sic]" and that she "had tried asking for help but nobody wanted to listen to her."

         The following day, E told Glenda what had happened the night before. Glenda asked J if E's account was true. J said "yes" and told Glenda that defendant had "been doing it for quite a while." E saw Glenda leave the house and speak to defendant, who was working outside. According to E, Glenda looked "pretty upset." Glenda and defendant returned to the house, and with Glenda, J, and E present, defendant stated "I'm so sorry" and that he planned to leave the house that day and turn himself in to the police.

         Several hours later, after defendant had packed his truck and left, Glenda took J and E to an office of the Department of Human Services (DHS), where Deputy Nisbet conducted a recorded interview with Glenda. In that interview, she stated that, when she had approached defendant outside after E and J told her what happened, defendant had admitted to having sexual contact with J about once a month for the preceding two to two-and-one-half years. Glenda repeated defendant's admission in a separate interview with Siegner, the director of the organization that assisted DHS in certifying the Hudspeths' foster home. The next day, Glenda told Sheriff Glerup that defendant had admitted to abusing J and had stated that he planned to turn himself in. Glenda subsequently appeared before a grand jury and testified under oath that, when she confronted defendant, he "told her that whatever the girls [had] said was true."

         In separate cases, defendant was indicted on two counts of first-degree rape, ORS 163.375 (one based on "forcible compulsion" and one based on J's inability to consent "by reason of mental defect"); one count of third-degree rape based on the fact that J was under 16 years of age; two counts of first-degree sodomy, ORS 163.405 (one based on "forcible compulsion" and one based on J's inability to consent "by reason of mental defect"); two counts of first-degree [292 Or.App. 480] sexual abuse, ORS 163.427 (one based on "forcible compulsion" and one based on J's inability to consent "by reason of being mentally ...


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