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.

Arroyo v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

August 1, 2018

Ruben Arroyo, Appellant,
v.
The State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Dava J. Tunis, Judge.Lower Tribunal No. 10-27158B

          Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Robert Kalter, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Eric J. Eves, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Before ROTHENBERG, C.J., and SUAREZ and LINDSEY, JJ.

          ROTHENBERG, C.J.

         Ruben Arroyo ("the defendant") appeals from his conviction and sentencing for sexual battery with specified circumstances by multiple perpetrators. He contends on appeal that the trial court erred by precluding him from inquiring into the victim's prior sexual history with her ex-boyfriend and by prohibiting defense counsel from introducing certain text messages exchanged between one of his co-defendants and the victim. The defendant also contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion for judgment of acquittal because there was insufficient evidence to prove that there were specified circumstances, namely, that the victim was either physically helpless to resist or was physically incapacitated. We find no error below, and therefore, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         The defendant was charged by information with the sexual battery with specified circumstances by multiple perpetrators for his part in the sexual battery of K.P.M. ("the victim"), which occurred on the night of September 11, 2010. The other alleged perpetrators, Dante Lee Pigatt ("Pigatt") and Gerson Juarez ("Juarez"), were also charged with sexually assaulting the victim.

         Before trial, the State filed a motion in limine pursuant to the Rape Shield Statute, section 794.022, Florida Statutes (2010), to exclude any reference to the alleged fact that the victim had sex with her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Tyler ("Tyler"), prior to arriving at a party at Juarez's home, where the sexual battery occurred. The trial court granted this motion. Additionally, during the same pretrial hearing and again when the defense was cross-examining the victim at trial, the trial court ruled that the defense could not inquire about text messages exchanged between the victim and Juarez, including some sent by Juarez that were sexually explicit, because they were hearsay and because they were more prejudicial than probative.

         At trial, the victim testified as follows. On the night of September 11, 2010, she and Tyler drove to a party at Juarez's home. The victim had not met Juarez before that night. The victim, who was inexperienced with alcohol, quickly drank approximately twelve shots of vodka, became heavily intoxicated, fell down, and hit her head. Tyler helped her to the bedroom, where she vomited, but he then left the party to obtain more alcohol. The defendant, Pigatt, and Juarez were in the bedroom as well. While Tyler was away, the defendant, along with the two other perpetrators, sexually battered the victim.

         The victim testified that she mumbled "no" while Juarez sexually assaulted her, but that she "felt heavy," like a "ragdoll," and she could not move her arms or legs or fight back. After Juarez's initial sexual assault upon the victim, he and the defendant took turns having intercourse with her, while Pigatt attempted to put his penis in her mouth. When Tyler returned, he found the victim in the bedroom and very inebriated. Tyler carried the victim to his car, where she vomited a second time, drove her home, and with the help of the victim's mother, they were able to get her to bed. The next morning, the victim told Tyler that she had been raped at the party, and she reported the sexual assault to the police.

         The defense's theory of the case was that the victim had consensual sex with the defendant at Juarez's party. Defense counsel argued that the victim had lied about the sexual battery because she wanted to conceal from her ex-boyfriend, Tyler, for whom she still had romantic feelings, that she had consensual intercourse with the defendant. After the trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict and the trial court sentenced the defendant to ...


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.