Arizona Defendant in Child Molestation Case Appeals Based on Involuntary Confession

In a recent case before an appeals court in Arizona, the defendant asked for the court to reconsider a decision regarding his conviction for child molestation. Originally, the defendant was charged and convicted after he inappropriately touched a young girl. He confessed to the crime in front of several police officers, but he later claimed he lied during the confession because the police were being so aggressive. Finding no evidence that the defendant was lying, the higher court ultimately denied his appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant lived with his girlfriend, his girlfriend’s daughter, and the couple’s baby son. The couple eventually broke up, and the ex-girlfriend moved out while the defendant cared for the children alone. Once, when the ex-girlfriend came to visit, she looked at the defendant’s phone and found a video of him inappropriately touching her eight-year-old daughter.

The ex-girlfriend called the police, who immediately brought the defendant in for questioning. They interrogated him, first reading him his Miranda rights then asking him about the offense in question. The defendant admitted to having inappropriately touched the girl.

At trial, the defendant claimed that he lied during the interrogation because the officers were so aggressive during his questioning. He was ultimately found guilty as charged by the jury, and he appealed the conviction.

The Decision

On appeal, the defendant argued that the lower court should have suppressed the statements he made to the police officers. His confession was false, he said, and he made it involuntarily. According to the defendant, his arthritis was acting up during the questioning, the room was too cold, and the officers were being unnecessarily aggressive. These factors all led to the conclusion that his confession was involuntary and thus inadmissible at trial.

The higher court looked at the record and ultimately disagreed. Even though the officers questioning the defendant were aggressive, said the court, this aggression did not rise to the level of making the defendant’s statements involuntary. They read the defendant his Miranda rights, and they made the temperature of the room warmer when the defendant asked. Lastly, the defendant’s arthritis was not a reason to believe his confession was involuntary.

Because the statements were made freely, the lower court rightfully declined to suppress the incriminating statements at trial. Therefore, the guilty conviction was affirmed.

Have You Been Charged with a Crime in Arizona?

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