Articles Posted in Rhode Island Supreme Court

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In 2012, the Cranston Police Department filed delinquency petitions alleging that, when B.H. was 13 years old, he committed two offenses that, if committed by an adult, would constitute the offense of first-degree child molestation and one offense that, if committed by an adult, would constitute the offense of second-degree child molestation. The victims were 11-year-old boys.The Family Court found the B.H. delinquent for the violations under G.L. 1956 11-37-8.1 and 11-37-8.2. The Rhode Island Supreme Court remanded, finding that the evidence at the delinquency proceeding was insufficient to establish sexual penetration—an element of both of the charges of first-degree child molestation of which the respondent was adjudged to be delinquent. The court directed the Family Court to enter adjudications of delinquency on the lesser-included offense of second-degree child molestation sexual assault (second-degree child molestation). View "In the Matter of B.H." on Justia Law

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After an adjudication, Respondent was found delinquent for engaging in second-degree child molestation sexual assault. At the conclusion of a sentencing hearing, the family court ordered that Respondent register as a sex offender. Respondent appealed, arguing that legally sufficient evidence did not exist to support the finding that he was delinquent because his actions were motivated by sexual arousal or gratification. The Supreme Court affirmed the adjudication of the family court, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial justice’s finding that Respondent touched the complainant for the purposes of sexual gratification. View "In re Kyle A." on Justia Law

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Twelve-year old Frances G. told a law enforcement officer that she threw a rock or brick against the windshield of a vehicle and carved something into the side of the vehicle. After a trial before a justice of the family court, Frances was adjudicated to be wayward. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial justice was not clearly wrong when she allowed the vehicle's owner to testify about what her daughter told her she saw Frances do to the car because the statement qualified as an "excited utterance" under R.I. R. Evid. 803(2); and (2) Frances knowingly and voluntarily waived her Miranda rights before speaking to the law enforcement officer, and therefore, the trial justice did not err in admitting the statement into evidence. View "In re Frances G." on Justia Law