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United States v. Roberts
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
88 F.3d 872 (1996)
Hollis Earl Roberts (defendant), chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, was charged with sexually abusing three women who worked for him. Nine additional women alleged that Roberts had sexually abused them when they were working for him. The government (plaintiff) sought to introduce evidence from the nine women to show that Roberts engaged in a common scheme to sexually abuse women who worked under his authority. But the government offered limited information concerning the nine women’s proposed testimony. While Roberts’s case was already pending, Federal Rule of Evidence 413 became effective. Rule 413 provided that, in a sexual-assault case, evidence of the defendant’s past acts of sexual assault could be admitted. The district court determined that Rule 413 was inapplicable to Roberts’s case. Further, the district court excluded evidence from the nine women under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). The district court found that the evidence would improperly show Roberts’s propensity to commit sexual assault. The government appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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