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Snyder v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

July 15, 2015

MATTHEW P. SNYDER, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff)

Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County. The Honorable Michael N. Deegan, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; and Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jenny L. Craig, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Joshua C. Eames, Assistant Attorney General.

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

OPINION

HILL, Justice.

[¶1] Matthew Snyder was convicted of five counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. On appeal, he argues that the district court committed plain error by admitting testimony about the presumption of paternity applicable to DNA evidence that showed Mr. Snyder impregnated his minor victim. We will affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Mr. Snyder presents one issue for our review:

The trial court improperly allowed testimony of a civil presumption, which does not apply to criminal cases.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶3] Mr. Snyder did not raise his issue in district court, thus we will consider it under the plain error doctrine. That doctrine provides:

In order to establish plain error, the defendant must show that the record patently demonstrates the district court transgressed a clear and unequivocal rule of law and such violation adversely affected his substantial right.

Faubion v. State, 2010 WY 79, ¶ 21, 233 P.3d 926, 932 (Wyo. 2010).

FACTS

[¶4] In October of 2011 Matthew Snyder, his girlfriend, and her daughter JL moved to Gillette. Soon thereafter, JL, who was twelve years old at the time, learned she was pregnant. JL gave birth to a daughter in 2012.

[¶5] In January of 2012, previous to giving birth, and shortly after her thirteenth birthday, Snyder forced JL to have sexual intercourse. This also happened again after she ...


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