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State v. Davis

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
388 S.E.2d 508 (1989)


The State of West Virginia (plaintiff) charged Dewey Davis (defendant) with second-degree sexual assault for his involvement in an act of sexual assault committed by his son, Gerald Davis. In February 1986, a friend of the Davis family went to Dewey’s home; the victim referred to Dewey as “Uncle Dewey.” While there, Dewey’s son, Gerald Davis, attempted to force the victim into his bedroom. The victim tried to escape, asking Dewey for help. Dewey refused, and Gerald then dragged the victim into the bedroom. Dewey followed Gerald into the bedroom and lay next to the victim while Gerald raped her. The victim again asked for Dewey’s help. Dewey responded by patting her hand and telling her not to worry. A jury convicted Gerald as a principal in the first degree for the assault and convicted Dewey of second-degree assault as a principal in the second degree. Dewey appealed, contending that, as a bystander, he could not be convicted as a principal of the crime that Gerald directly committed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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