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People v. Williams

Supreme Court of California
841 P.2d 961 (1992)


On November 4, 1989, the victim stood outside a homeless shelter where she was staying. According to the victim, a resident at the shelter named Williams (defendant) approached her and asked her to get coffee. After spending the morning together, Williams asked her if she wanted to watch television. She agreed and he took her to a nearby hotel. The victim did not realize it was a hotel until Williams rented a room and requested a bed sheet. They went into the room, which had no television set. The victim confronted Williams but he did not respond. He instead asked her to join him on the bed. The victim attempted to leave, but Williams physically blocked the door. He yelled at her, hit her in the eye, and threatened to hurt her if she did not cooperate. The victim cooperated and they engaged in sexual intercourse. Williams had an entirely different account from the victim. He said he did not go to the hotel room intending to have sex with her. However, when they got into the room, the victim began kissing him and taking off her clothes. He stated that the victim fondled him and initiated sexual intercourse. Afterwards, the victim left and reported the incident to police. At trial, the court refused to instruct the jury on a mistake of fact defense. The jury found Williams guilty. The Court of Appeal reversed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Arabian, J.)

Concurrence (Mosk, J.)

Concurrence (Kennard, J.)

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