United States v. Willis

826 F.3d 1265 (2016)

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United States v. Willis

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
826 F.3d 1265 (2016)

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Facts

Ivan Bennett Willis (defendant) was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of 17-year-old K.M. Willis admitted to having sex with K.M., but he asserted that the sex was consensual. The only issue for trial was whether Willis used force against K.M. Before the trial started, Willis moved to admit evidence of K.M.’s sexual behavior. Willis claimed that on the night of the alleged sexual abuse, K.M. was babysitting her cousin’s children and had sex with her boyfriend at her cousin’s house before the encounter with Willis. Willis sought to introduce the report from K.M.’s sexual-assault examination, which showed that semen on K.M.’s underwear matched DNA samples taken from both K.M.’s boyfriend and Willis. Willis argued that this evidence established that K.M. had a motive to lie about the alleged sexual abuse, because she did not want her boyfriend to know that she had sex with Willis and did not want her cousin and her cousin’s boyfriend to find out that she had sex in their house while she was babysitting. The district court denied Willis’s motion to admit the evidence. At trial, K.M. testified on cross-examination that her cousin and her cousin’s boyfriend would be disappointed if they found out that K.M. had consensual sex with Willis. K.M.’s cousin also testified that she would be upset if she found out that K.M. and Willis had consensual sex. The jury convicted Willis, and he appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McHugh, J.)

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