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The People v. Pierre Lacelle Butler

February 14, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
PIERRE LACELLE BUTLER, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 08F07573)

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

P. v. Butler

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Pierre Lacelle Butler appeals his conviction for forcible rape.*fn1 (Pen. Code, § 261, subd. (a)(2).) He contends the trial court prejudicially erred in admitting evidence of his 1995 rape of M.M. under Evidence Code section 1108*fn2 and abused its discretion in denying his motion to strike his prior convictions under Romero.*fn3 We shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Because of the nature of the claims on appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is not necessary. In sum, shortly after they met, defendant and A.M. went on a date. What began as a consensual physical encounter between them deteriorated and defendant raped A.M. DNA samples taken from A.M. during the sexual assault exam matched defendant's DNA profile.

Evidence of a prior rape committed by defendant was also admitted at trial. There, defendant and 16-year-old M.M. were at a friend's house, talking in a bedroom. Defendant locked the door, orally copulated, digitally penetrated and raped M.M.

For the current offenses, defendant was charged with two counts of forcible rape (Pen. Code, § 261, subd. (a)(2)--counts one and four), forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object (id., § 289, subd. (a)(1)--count two), and forcible oral copulation (id., § 288a, subd. (c)(2)--count three). It was also alleged defendant had suffered two prior serious felony convictions. (Id., §§ 667, subds. (a), (b)-(i), 1170.12.) The jury found defendant guilty of one count of forcible rape and acquitted him of the other sexual offenses. In bifurcated proceedings, the court also found the prior serious felony allegations true.

Defendant filed a Romero motion, which the court denied. Defendant was sentenced to state prison for an aggregate term of 50 years to life, plus five years.*fn4

DISCUSSION

I. Section 1108 Evidence

Defendant contends the trial court erred in admitting evidence under section 1108 of his prior rape conviction. He contends: (1) the prior offense was more inflammatory than the charged offense, as its victim, M.M. appeared more credible than A.M., the prior offense was more a stranger rape than a date rape, and M.M. was only 16 years old at the time she was raped; (2) the prior offense was too remote, as it was committed 12 years prior to the charged offense with no intervening sexual misconduct or other criminal conduct other than failure to register as a sex offender; and (3) ...


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