The General Assembly last amended our satellite-based monitoring (“SBM”) laws in 2021, substantially reworking who qualifies for SBM, the process of petitioning for termination of SBM, and the potential length of SBM (among other changes). If you are still adjusting to those new rules, buckle up. Tucked into the back of S.L 2023-143 (SB 20) are new amendments that once again substantially revise North Carolina’s SBM scheme (in Part VIII, starting at page 44 of the linked bill), effective for SBM orders entered on or after October 1, 2023. This post examines those changes and their potential implications.
Suppose the State is prosecuting a defendant for the sexual assault of a young child. Though the child has been identified by name in the arrest warrant and investigative reports provided to the defendant, the State would prefer not to name the victim in the indictment. May it refer to the victim in that document as “Victim #1”?
In the recent court of appeals case In re J.F., ___ N.C. App. ___, ___S.E.2d ___ (Nov. 18, 2014), the defendant argued that penetration is an essential element of sexual offense and crime against nature. Following prior case law, the court held that penetration is required for crime against nature, and that in the case presented, the evidence wasn’t sufficient on that issue. Turning to the sexual offense conviction, the court noted that offense covers different types of sexual acts, specifically, cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, anal intercourse, and the penetration, however slight, by any object into the genital or anal opening of another person’s body. Id. (citing G.S. 14-27.1(4)). In the case before it, the relevant conduct was fellatio, a “touching” act, which the court held doesn’t require penetration.
In a recent case, State v. Holloman, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by convicting the defendant of both first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault when the sexual assault raised the kidnapping to first-degree. Since the issue is a recurring one, let’s review the rules. A person is guilty of … Read more
Over the years I’ve been asked a bunch of times whether forced self-penetration constitutes a “sexual act” supporting a conviction for forcible sexual offense. Until recently, we had no clear answer in North Carolina. However, the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue, holding that this conduct can support a sexual offense conviction. … Read more
A recent decision by the court of appeals illustrates the procedural pitfalls of a common practice: closing the courtroom during the testimony of the victim of an alleged sex crime. This practice is motivated by the best of intentions. The purpose is to spare the victim the embarrassment of discussing the intimate details of a … Read more