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Kenneth James Huckfeldt v. the State of Wyoming

March 13, 2013

KENNETH JAMES HUCKFELDT, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County The Honorable Nena James, Judge

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

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

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] A jury convicted Kenneth Huckfeldt of sexual assault in the first degree and sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. Huckfeldt appeals the district court's denial of a continuance motion and the court's admission of uncharged misconduct evidence of his prior conviction for sexual assault of a minor. We find no abuse of discretion in either ruling and affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Huckfeldt presents the following issues for our review:

I. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it denied Mr. Huckfeldt's motion for continuance of the trial due to a missing witness and was it mistaken when it found that the public defender did not use due diligence?

II. Did the district court abuse its discretion in admitting into evidence testimony of the victim that resulted in a prior conviction of Mr. Huckfeldt for sexual assault?

FACTS

[¶3] In June 2011, HG, then nineteen, reported that her stepfather, Kenneth Huckfeldt, had raped her approximately three years earlier, shortly before her sixteenth birthday. HG testified that the assault occurred in an ice fishing hut while she was alone with Huckfeldt ice fishing at Flaming Gorge reservoir. Toward the end of that afternoon, when it began to get dark, HG asked Huckfeldt if they could go home. Huckfeldt first responded that they could not go home until they had caught their limit, and then a short time later he told HG that the only way they could go home was if she "gave him a piece of ass." HG refused and turned her back to Huckfeldt. Huckfeldt then grabbed HG from behind and pulled her off her chair. HG described what followed:

A. When I was on the floor I tried to get back up and he pushed me down. And I asked him, I was like what are you doing, and he said we are going to go home. And I told him I don't know what you are doing. Get off of me and leave me alone. And I tried to get back up again and he pushed me down. And he held my arms down with his knees like right up by my muscle part and he covered my mouth and told me to not scream or anything or else he would hurt me. After he let my mouth go, he kept his knees on my arms and he grabbed both of my arms and put them above my head and he held those there, and he was pulling my pants down behind him.

A. He told me to suck his dick.

Q. Okay. What happened then?

A. I told him no, it's not going to happen. I told him to leave me alone.

Q. Okay. What happened then?

A. He started pulling off my pants. And the free part of my arm that I had, I tried pulling them back up, but I just couldn't move anymore. And I was in shock, and it just happened.

Q. What happened?

A. Sexual intercourse.

Q. How far down did your pants get?

A. Almost to my knees.

Q. What did he -- when you say sexual intercourse, what do you mean?

A. His penis went into my vagina.

Q. Did he do anything else while he was having sex with you?

A. He was groping me from the top, like of my upper body over my clothes.

Q. What were you doing?

A. I was screaming and crying and kicking and trying to get him off of me.

Q. Did he say anything to you?

A. While it was going [on] he said who is fucking you, sweetie pie. And after it was all over he said how does it feel knowing ...


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