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The People v. Eric Alonzo Thigpen

July 24, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ERIC ALONZO THIGPEN, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 10F01429)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blease , Acting P. J.

P. v. Thigpen 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury convicted defendant Eric Alonzo Thigpen of felony indecent exposure (Pen. Code,*fn1 § 314, subd. 1) and found true an allegation that he had suffered a 2005 conviction of lewd acts with a child under age 14 (§§288,subd. (a), 667, subds. (b)-(i)). Defendant was sentenced to state prison for six years.*fn2

On appeal, defendant contends (1) this court should review the sealed reporter's transcript of the trial court's review of the victim's personnel file; the Attorney General does not oppose this request, and (2) the trial court's instructions and orders to the deadlocked jury violated his state and federal due process rights. We shall affirm the judgment.

FACTS

Prosecution Case-in-Chief

Defendant, a California State Prison Sacramento inmate, exposed himself to C.H., the assistant food manager.

While working in the loading dock area, defendant volunteered to move a pallet of jelly. C.H., who supervised cooks, saw defendant once or twice a week and had never developed any kind of relationship with him or seen him do anything inappropriate. C.H. had worked at prisons for 19 years.

While maneuvering the pallet into a caged area, defendant struggled to control the pallet jack that was "crashing into the walls." C.H. thought it was "taking him a long time" to drop off the jelly. Defendant mentioned that it was "rough out there," and C.H. initially thought he was referring to maneuvering the pallet. Defendant said he meant he was being paroled soon and it was rough on the streets. C.H. told him he should go to school and take a class that he would enjoy and succeed at. Defendant then asked about rent levels; C.H. responded that she did not know about them because she owned her home and did not pay rent. They talked about "[h]is plans for the future, going to school, getting a job, maybe at [a fast food restaurant]."

The conversation continued as defendant brought the pallet jack out of the caged area. C.H. noticed that defendant's hand was moving. When she looked down, she saw that his pants were down below his genitals and he was stroking his erect penis. He was eight to 10 feet away from her. She said, "oh, shit" and went to the supervisor's office where she reported the incident to an officer.

Aaron Ware, a cook who worked for C.H., testified that he noticed it was taking a while for defendant to unload the pallet. Ware went to check on defendant and C.H. When everything appeared fine, Ware went to the office. Several minutes later, C.H. came in and said that defendant had exposed himself. C.H. appeared startled.

On cross-examination, C.H. denied that she had encouraged defendant to expose himself or that she reported him only because she believed that Ware had seen him exposing himself. She also said she did not see defendant remove or lower his pants.

C.H. explained that she did not activate her personal alarm because she "had an officer so close and it was a busy time of day . . . ." She also had not activated her alarm when an inmate exposed himself to her years earlier.

C.H. testified that she did not share details of her personal life with inmates, but sometimes she would discuss her life in general. Inmates can learn details about employees because "[a] prison is a small community."

C.H. described defendant's conduct as "shocking and annoying" by defendant's behavior. However, she did not allow herself to be offended, because that would ...


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