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People v. Vigil

Colorado Supreme Court
127 P.3d 916 (2006)


Facts

Joe Vigil (defendant) and John Kohl were drinking at the home of Brett Brown. At some point, Vigil went into another room to play with Brown’s seven-year-old son, JW. When Brown entered the room, he saw that Vigil and the boy were partly undressed, that Vigil was hovering over the boy, and that their unclothed bodies were touching. Vigil fled and the boy broke down in tears, telling Brown and Kohl that Vigil had sodomized him and that his “butt hurt.” Brown called the police, who found Vigil on the street. Vigil said that he had “done bad” and stabbed himself with a knife. JW was taken to a hospital where a doctor examined him. In response to the doctor asking where the boy hurt, JW referred to his anus. The doctor examined him there and semen was found. The state of Colorado (plaintiff) charged Vigil with sexual assault. JW did not testify at trial, but the court admitted JW’s statements to his father, Kohl, and the doctor. Vigil was convicted. He appealed, challenging the admission of JW’s out-of-court statements. The court of appeals reversed on the ground that the statement to the doctor was inadmissible. The Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rice, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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