People v. Cash

419 Mich. 230, 351 N.W.2d 822 (1984)

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People v. Cash

Michigan Supreme Court
419 Mich. 230, 351 N.W.2d 822 (1984)

Facts

Cash (defendant), who was 30 years-old, met a female who was one month shy of turning 16 years-old at a bus station in Detroit. The female was running away from home. After talking for a couple of hours, Cash persuaded the female to accompany him on a drive in his car. They proceeded to a motel where they engaged in two separate acts of sexual intercourse. After Cash had fallen asleep, the female snuck out of the hotel room, went to the hotel attendant, and the police were called. Cash was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, namely engaging in sexual conduct with a person between the ages of 13 and 16 years. At a preliminary hearing, the female admitted she had told Cash that she was 17 years-old. Prior to trial, Cash requested that the jury be instructed that a reasonable mistake as to the female’s age is a defense. The trial court refused. At trial, Cash represented himself. The female testified that she had voluntarily, though reluctantly, engaged in sexual intercourse with Cash out of fear that he might harm her. The court instructed the jury that “[i]t is no defense that the defendant believed that [the female] was 16 years old or older at the time of the alleged act.” Cash was found guilty and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, C.J.)

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