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State v. Eddy

Supreme Court of Kansas

March 21, 2014

STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee,
v.
RASMUS R. EDDY, Appellant

Petition for certiorari filed at, 05/21/2014

Page 13

Appeal from Saline District Court; PATRICK H. THOMPSON, judge.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. Issues of statutory interpretation and construction, including issues of whether a statute creates alternative means of committing a crime, raise questions of law reviewable de novo on appeal.

2. The gravamen of the sexual intercourse element of rape is penetration of the female sex organ. A jury instruction that defines sexual intercourse as any penetration of the female sex organ by a finger or any object does not create alternative means by which the crime of rape can be committed.

3. An appellate court applies an abuse of discretion standard when reviewing a district court's decision on a defendant's motion for a psychological evaluation of a complaining witness.

4. In general, a defendant is entitled to a psychological examination of a complaining witness in a sex crime case only where compelling circumstances justify such an examination. To assess the existence of compelling circumstances, a court should examine the totality of the circumstances.

5. In determining whether compelling circumstances exist which would warrant ordering the psychological evaluation of a complaining witness, courts may consider the following nonexclusive list of factors: (1) whether there is corroborating evidence of the complaining witness' version of the facts, (2) whether the complaining witness demonstrates mental instability, (3) whether the complaining witness demonstrates a lack of veracity, (4) whether the complaining witness has made similar charges against others that were proven to be false, (5) whether the defendant's motion for an evaluation appears to be a fishing expedition, and (6) whether the complaining witness provides an unusual response when questioned about his or her understanding of what it means to tell the truth.

Meryl Carver-Allmond, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellant.

Christina M. Trocheck, assistant county attorney, argued the cause, and Ellen Mitchell, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were with her on the brief for appellee.

Page 14

[299 Kan. 30] OPINION

JOHNSON, J.

Rasmus R. Eddy directly appeals his jury convictions for multiple counts of serious sex offenses perpetrated against A.E., his 4-year-old granddaughter. Eddy raises two arguments on appeal: (1) The State presented insufficient evidence to prove that he committed rape by the alternative means of penetrating the victim with an object, and (2) the district court erroneously denied his request to have a psychological evaluation performed on the ...


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