Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sparks v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 15, 2019

IAN R. SPARKS, 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, Wyoming State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief Appellate Counsel; Lauren McLane, Faculty Director, and Alex N. Cremer, Student Intern, of the Defender Aid Clinic, University of Wyoming College of Law. Argument by Mr. Cremer.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Russell Farr, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Farr.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.

          DAVIS, Chief Justice.

         [¶1] Ian Sparks was convicted of furnishing two fifteen-year-old girls with alcohol and sexually abusing them. On appeal, he contends that the district court erred in ordering joinder of the sexual abuse charges relating to the two victims. He further contends that the district court erred and violated his confrontation rights and the right to a complete defense when it excluded evidence of a prior false sexual abuse allegation by one of the victims. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] Mr. Sparks presents two issues on appeal, which we restate as follows:

I. Did the district court abuse its discretion in ordering joinder of the sexual abuse charges relating to the two victims?
II. Did the district court abuse its discretion or infringe on Mr. Sparks' confrontation rights or his right to present a complete defense when it excluded evidence of a prior false sexual abuse allegation by one of the victims?

FACTS

         [¶3] In the summer of 2016, DJJ and AK were both fifteen years old and living in Gillette, Wyoming. They had become friends during their participation in Civil Air Patrol that summer, and on July 23, 2016, they made plans for AK to spend the night at DJJ's home. Their plans changed, however, and they instead decided to spend the night with DJJ's former step-sister, Mikelah Williams, and her twenty-three-year old fiancé, Ian Sparks. Mr. Sparks and Ms. Williams had recently moved, so DJJ and AK first went to the apartment they had vacated to assist Mr. Sparks in cleaning it. Afterward, Mr. Sparks drove the girls to the new trailer home he shared with Ms. Williams, stopping along the way to buy vodka, energy drinks, and soda for himself and the girls.

         [¶4] It was around 10:00 p.m. when Mr. Sparks and the girls arrived at the trailer he shared with Ms. Williams. He left the vodka in his vehicle and told the girls that because Ms. Williams would be upset about the alcohol, they would wait until she went to sleep to drink it. While the girls watched a movie, Mr. Sparks and Ms. Williams retired to their bedroom. Sometime later, Mr. Sparks came out of the bedroom and told the girls Ms. Williams had finally fallen asleep.

         [¶5] Mr. Sparks and the girls then left the mobile home and took the vodka and other drinks to a nearby abandoned trailer. There they passed the vodka around and drank from the bottle. Although AK raised the bottle to her mouth and could taste the alcohol, she only pretended to drink it. DJJ, on the other hand, drank to the point of intoxication. As the three drank, they played a game of "Truth or Dare." AK described how the evening then progressed:

Q. Truth or Dare, how did it start? In what sort of things?
A. Um, so just something stupid, like you have to lick a wall, or stuff like that.
Q. And did there come a time where the game got a little more risqué?
A. Yes.
Q. What did you - can you tell us about that?
A. I think it started daring each other, like kiss each other.
Q. And did there come a point where you and Mr. Sparks got dared to make out?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you tell us about that?
A. [DJJ] dared us to kiss, so we kissed.
Q. Okay. Did you want to follow through with that dare?
A. No.
Q. Why did you?
A. Because I was just playing along and trying to have fun, seem like if I didn't.
Q. When you and Mr. Sparks kissed, were you sitting, or were you standing, or something else?
A. We were sitting.
Q. Okay. And how were you sitting?
A. Like on our knees.
Q. So face-to-face?
A. Yes.
Q. So after - well, how long do you think the kiss with Mr. Sparks lasted?
A. A minute or two.
Q. Okay. Was there any touching at that point?
A. Yes.
Q. What kind of touching?
A. Like my butt and - yeah.
Q. I'm sorry? Your butt and?
A. Um, like my back and my arms.
Q. Okay. Now, after Mr. Sparks kisses you, what happens next?
A. Him and [DJJ] kiss. And then he dares me to kiss him again.
Q. Okay. Now when you see him and [DJJ] kiss, was that the first time that you had seen them kiss?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. What can you tell us about that kiss?
A. It lasted like a minute, same with touching.
Q. Okay. Did you see Mr. Sparks and [DJJ] kiss again later that night?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. Now let's talk about that. When you saw Mr. Sparks and [DJJ] kissing again later, what can you tell us about that?
A. Um, it was very - they were very into it. It lasted a while.
Q. Did they both appear to be sort of getting into it?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. Was Mr. Sparks touching [DJJ]?
A. Yes.
Q. Where?
A. Everywhere.
Q. And I'm sorry, when you say "everywhere" can you be a little more specific?
A. Yes. Her torso, her breasts, butt, and stuff between her legs.
Q. Her torso, her breasts, her rear end, and between her legs?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you say anything to him at that point?
A. Yeah. I told them that they needed to cool it down.
Q. Why?
A. Because she was really drunk, she didn't know what she was doing, and she probably would have been willing to do anything at that point.
Q. And did Mr. Sparks say anything to you?
A. Yes.
Q. What did he say?
A. He told me that we should let [DJJ] decide what she wanted.
Q. Now, you gave an interview with an officer, a female officer; do you remember that?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. And in talking with Nicole Long, do you remember indicating that the exact thing that Mr. Sparks said was, "it's up to [DJJ] if she wants to have sex or not."
A. Yes.
Q. Is that what Mr. Sparks said?
A. Yes.
Q. Now, how were [DJJ] and Mr. Sparks when they were getting into it? Were they standing? Were they sitting?
A. They were, like, lying down.
Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you saw Mr. Sparks touch [DJJ] between her legs; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you see Mr. Sparks touch anyone else between their ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.