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Palmer v. State

October 22, 2009

STEPHEN PALMER, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Uinta County The Honorable Dennis L. Sanderson, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hill, Justice.

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, and BURKE, JJ.

[¶1] Appellant, Stephen Palmer (Palmer), seeks review of his four convictions for sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. We will affirm.

[¶2] Palmer raises these issues:

I. Does Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-316(a)(i) criminalize sexual contact with a person over the age of fifteen years?

II. Is the statute as applied to Mr. Palmer unconstitutionally vague?

III. Did the trial court abuse its discretion by admitting uncharged misconduct evidence which had not been a part of the State's original W.R.E. 404(b) notice?

The State conformed its statement of the issues to that set out above.

ISSUES I AND II

[¶3] Contemporaneously with the publication of this opinion, we also published our opinion in Crain v. State, Case No. S-08-0215, and May v. State, Case No. S-09-0002, 2009 WY 128, ___ P.3d ___ (Wyo. 2009). In those cases we resolved the issues raised by Palmer in Issues I and II and by reference to the Crain and May cases we also apply that same reasoning in this case. Hence, we reject both of Palmer's challenges to the affected statutes.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

[¶4] One of the counts upon which Palmer was found guilty occurred on September 6, 2007, and the other three occurred on September 14, 2007. All these events took place in the victim's family home. The victim was the daughter of a co-worker of Palmer. Palmer, the victim, and the victim's parents all worked at Little America in Sweetwater County, and it was there that Palmer met the victim, who he worked with and supervised to some extent. The victim was born in November 1991 and was not yet 16 years old when the criminal acts occurred. The victim was a reluctant witness and she testified that her relationship with Palmer was entirely voluntary and consensual.

[¶5] The only facts truly pertinent to this appeal concern an assertion by Palmer that W.R.E. 404(b)*fn1 evidence was improperly admitted at his trial over his objection. In a Scheduling and Discovery Order entered of record on February 13, 2008, the district court, inter alia, ordered the State to give notice to Palmer of its intent, if any, to offer W.R.E. 404(b) evidence at trial. That order also provided that:

If a motion to suppress or exclude evidence under Rule 404(b) W.R.E. is filed, each party shall have at the hearing on this motion proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law which cover all of the factors set forth in Gleason v. State, 2002 WY 161, 57 P.3d 332 (Wyo. 2002). The proposed ...


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