## Tuesday, March 15, 2016

### People v. Appleton (Cal. Ct. App. - March 15, 2016)

You get used to seeing a certain pattern in these types of cases.  Today's opinion breaks the pattern in a couple of different ways:

"At the time of the offense, defendant was a 43-year-old computer technology worker in Mountain View. In July 2013, John Doe contacted the police and made the following statement. In early 2013, he met defendant through Grindr. Doe was 16 years old at the time. For several months, defendant and Doe maintained a consensual relationship that involved kissing, handholding, and sleeping together, but no further sexual conduct. In July 2013, Doe stayed at defendant’s residence for several days. Around midnight on July 12, defendant and Doe were sleeping in defendant’s bed when two male friends of defendant entered the bedroom. The three men forced Doe to orally copulate them over a period of about 15 to 20 minutes. Doe left the residence at around 1:00 a.m. and called the police later that night. He told another witness one of the men had forcibly sodomized him.

Doe declined a SART exam. After he expressed suicidal thoughts, he was taken into custody under Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150.

Police interviewed Doe several days later. He made the following statement, which differed in some respects from his initial statement. He had met defendant on Grindr one year earlier, but they did not start dating until February 2013. At that time, defendant bought Doe an iPhone and performed oral sex on him. Defendant performed oral sex on Doe three other times, and the two slept together for a period of several days, but they engaged in no other sexual conduct. Doe reiterated that defendant and two of defendant’s friends forced him to orally copulate them in July 2013 when Doe was sleeping in defendant’s bed. Doe declined to make a pretext call."

The charges, and the disposition, are different than you might initially expect as well.  No charges for rape.  And a favorable deal:

"The prosecution charged defendant by felony complaint with oral copulation with a minor. (Pen. Code, § 288a, subd. (b)(1).) The parties entered a plea agreement whereby defendant pleaded no contest to false imprisonment by means of deceit (Pen. Code, §§ 236, 237, subd. (a)) in exchange for formal probation, credit for time served, and dismissal of the oral copulation count. In accord with the plea agreement, the trial court suspended imposition of sentence and granted a three-year term of probation to include a jail sentence of 236 days."

Presumably no sex offender registration either.

Not your usual case of this type.