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Criminal – Taking Indecent Liberties – Other Crimes – Letter To Counselor

Although 20 months passed between an incident in which a 13-year-old girl allegedly was sexually molested by her sister’s boyfriend and her report of the incident in a letter to a school counselor, the trial court did not err in admitting the letter into evidence at the boyfriend’s trial for taking indecent liberties in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-370 and related charges, according to the Court of Appeals.

The delay in reporting the offense was adequately explained by the victim. She testified that she waited to report the incident because she did not think anyone would believe her and she was very close to her sister and her niece, defendant’s daughter, and she was concerned about her niece’s father going to jail. These concerns provide a sufficient and reasonable explanation for the victim’s delay in reporting the assault.

Defendant did not specifically object to the letter on the grounds of prior bad acts; defendant makes this argument for the first time on appeal and under Rule 5A:18, it will not be considered on appeal.

We conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the victim’s letter or in failing to give a cautionary instruction regarding the letter.

Convictions of taking indecent liberties, aggravated sexual battery and object sexual penetration are affirmed.

Williams v. Commonwealth (Frank, J.) No. 1070-07-2, Oct. 14, 2008; Richmond Cir.Ct. (Cavedo) Jessica M. Bulos, AAD, for appellant; Virginia B. Theisen, Sr. AAG, for appellee. VLW 008-7-455(UP), 9 pp.

VLW 008-7-455

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