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Hogle v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

June 18, 2018

Jon Paul Hogle, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Walton County. Kelvin C. Wells, Judge.

          Andy Thomas, Public Defender, and Danielle Jorden, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Kaitlin Weiss, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          Per Curiam.

         Jon Hogle exposed himself to a thirteen-year-old girl on a panhandle beach. He was convicted of lewd or lascivious exhibition, and he was sentenced to five years in prison and ten years of sex-offender probation. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying a motion in limine and that fundamental error occurred during the prosecutor's closing statement. We reject these arguments and affirm Hogle's convictions. Hogle also argues that the court erred in imposing various fines and costs during sentencing. We agree that several fines were improper, so we reverse certain aspects of his sentence.

          I.

         At trial, the victim testified that she was jogging on the beach when she heard Hogle yell to her from a nearby condo. She turned to look and saw Hogle, pants down, touching his erect penis while making eye contact with her. The victim immediately called police and then ran down the beach toward her sister. She pointed out Hogle to her sister, and then she and her sister went inside their condo. The victim told her mother what happened, and everyone waited for police to arrive. The victim and her sister then saw Hogle drive by in a truck two or three times. Police had arrived by the last time Hogle drove by, and an officer took off after Hogle, ultimately stopping and arresting him.

         When questioned by officers, Hogle denied exposing himself. But testifying at trial, Hogle admitted pulling his pants down that afternoon. He insisted it was all a misunderstood joke though, and that he neither touched himself nor saw any children around. Instead, he testified, an adult friend had just flashed her breasts, and he responded by momentarily flashing his genitals.

         After hearing these competing versions of events, the jury voted to convict.

         II.

         Hogle first challenges an evidentiary ruling. He contends the trial court should not have allowed testimony that he drove by the victim's condo after the incident. Hogle argues this testimony was irrelevant or, alternatively, that any probative value was substantially outweighed by the risk of unfair prejudice. We review this claim for an abuse of discretion. See Heath v. State, 648 So.2d 660, 664 (Fla. 1994) ("The trial court has broad discretion in determining the relevance of evidence and such determination will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion." (citation omitted)).

         As to relevance, Hogle argues that there was no question of identity; after all, he admitted at trial that he was the one on the balcony with his pants down. Where he drove afterward, he argues, is completely irrelevant to whether his behavior on the balcony was criminal. The problem with this argument is that until he testified in his own defense, his identity was in question. The State had to prove that he was the one on the balcony, and the sisters' testimony that they saw the man from the balcony repeatedly drive by their condo-coupled with the officer's testimony that the man they pointed out turned out to be Hogle- was relevant as to whether Hogle was the perpetrator. See Carter v. State, 23 So.3d 1238, 1243 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (finding testimony about defendant's companions on the day of carjacking relevant because it tended to prove the material fact of the identity of the ...


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