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People v. Dominguez

January 11, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
SANTOS DOMINGUEZ, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Alice C. Hill, Judge. Affirmed. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. PA060946).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kriegler, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Defendant and appellant Santos Dominguez was convicted by jury in count 2 of felony false imprisonment of L.G. (L.), a child under the age of 14, and in count 3 of misdemeanor false imprisonment of J.S. (J.) (Pen. Code, §§ 236, 237).*fn1 Defendant was sentenced to state prison for the upper term of three years on the felony false imprisonment charge and a concurrent term of 365 days in county jail on the misdemeanor.

In his timely appeal from the judgment, defendant argues the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction for either felony or misdemeanor false imprisonment of L. in count 2. He also argues the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction of misdemeanor false imprisonment of J. in count 3. We affirm.

FACTS

Prosecution Evidence

Four-year-old L. was playing with her six-year-old cousin, J., in the ground floor apartment L. shared with her family on Sepulveda Boulevard on February 17, 2008. J. lived in the same building in a second floor apartment with her mother. The girls said they were going to play with a little friend, who lived on the second floor of the complex.

J. saw defendant by the friend's apartment. Defendant asked J. her name and then twice asked, "Where's your mom?" He hugged both J. and L. J. said her mom was in the house. Defendant said he wanted J. to come to a restaurant. She asked if he had money to take them to the restaurant. He said he had money. Defendant picked up L. and carried her toward the mailbox on the ground floor.

J. followed as defendant carried L. downstairs to the first floor, because she did not want to leave defendant alone with L. L.'s face was red as defendant carried her down the stairs. Defendant walked out of the apartment security gate, which is located near the mailbox. J. stayed inside the gate. Defendant returned inside the gate and again hugged both girls.

Defendant saw another man on the first floor and stopped. Defendant, who at this time was carrying L. on his shoulders, put her down.

J. and L. went to J.'s apartment and spoke with J.'s mother. Over the course of the next hour and a half, J. provided her mother with information about what happened. Her mother noticed that J. looked nervous and L. looked scared and had a very pale complexion. L. kept grabbing her mouth. J. said a man grabbed L. and wanted to take her away. J. said the man was not a relative. He had hugged her and asked where their parents were and if they had parents, and said he was taking them to eat at a restaurant. J. repeatedly hugged and kissed her cousin in front of her mother.

Later that day, J. saw defendant outside the apartment and identified him to her mother and uncle. She later saw defendant at a Mobil gas station and identified him for the police.

Officer Amanda Morrow contacted defendant at the Mobil gas station at Sepulveda and Nordhoff on February 17, 2008, where defendant was identified by J. Defendant told the officer he wanted to get the two little girls away from their abusive parents and get them some food.

Detective Donald Goosens met with J. on February 19, 2008. Detective Goosens estimated the distance between the stairwell where J. had been playing and the front gate was 60-70 feet.

Uncharged Prior Acts

E.C. (E.), born in December 1990, lived with her family in 2002 on Roscoe Boulevard. Defendant lived on the premises in a converted garage. E. went to the garage on occasion to watch television. On one occasion she felt defendant's hand on her breast over her clothing, ...


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