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State v. Slagle

Court of Appeals of Oregon

May 1, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
THOMAS STEVEN SLAGLE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted February 21, 2018

          Lane County Circuit Court 15CR37277; Maurice K. Merten, Judge.

          Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and Kristin A. Carveth, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services fled the opening brief for appellant. Thomas S. Slagle fled the supplemental brief pro se.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Doug M. Petrina, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Powers, Judge, and Garrett, Judge pro tempore.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for 10 counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, ORS 163.684. His challenges are based on the assertion that the language of the charging instrument precluded the trial court from finding that there were multiple victims to his crimes. In three assignments of error, defendant argues that the trial court erred in determining that there were multiple victims and, consequently, imposing consecutive sentences. In nine other assignments, defendant contends that the trial court erred by failing to merge the 10 guilty verdicts into a single conviction. Held: The trial court did not err in finding that there were 10 victims to defendant's crimes; therefore, the trial court did not err in imposing 10 separate convictions and consecutive sentences.

         Affirmed.

         [297 Or.App. 393]GARRETT, J. pro tempore

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for 10 counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, ORS 163.684. He raises 13 assignments of error. We reject the first assignment of error without discussion. In his second through fourth assignments of error, defendant argues that the trial court erred in finding that there were multiple victims of defendant's crimes and, as a result, imposing consecutive sentences. In his remaining assignments of error, defendant contends that the trial court erred by failing to merge the 10 guilty verdicts into a single conviction. Reviewing for legal error, see State v. Huffman, 234 Or.App. 177, 183, 227 P.3d 1206 (2010) (reviewing trial court's merger ruling for legal error); State v. Sumerlin, 139 Or.App. 579, 588, 913 P.2d 340 (1996) (reviewing trial court's imposition of consecutive sentences for legal error), we reject defendant's arguments and affirm.

         Defendant was charged by district attorney information. Each of the 10 counts tracked the language of ORS 163.684.[1] Counts two through 10 stated:

"The defendant, on or about June 11, 2015, in Lane County, Oregon, did unlawfully and knowingly possess a record in visual recording of sexually explicit conduct involving a child, separate and distinct from all others alleged in this Information, with the intent to disseminate the record in visual recording while knowing or being aware of and consciously disregarding the fact that creation of the visual recording of sexually explicitly conduct involved child abuse [.]"

         [297 Or.App. 394] Count one differed only in that it did not include the phrase "separate and distinct from all others alleged in this Information."

         Defendant did not demur to, or otherwise challenge, the information. See ORS 135.630 (providing for demurrer to charging instrument). He did not move the court either to require the state to elect specific visual recordings to support each count or to otherwise provide more specific information. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing and ...


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