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The People v. Phil Douglas Reese

March 27, 2013


(Super. Ct. No. 10F05910)

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

P. v. Reese CA3


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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Phil Douglas Reese, Jr. repeatedly molested the young daughter of a woman who considered him a close family friend. After years of abuse, victim L.P., who had previously told two school friends about the molestation, told her mother. A jury found defendant guilty of five counts of committing a forcible lewd act on a child under 14 (Pen. Code,*fn1 § 288, subd. (b)). The trial court sentenced him to 34 years in state prison. On appeal, defendant contends: 1) there is insufficient evidence that two of the acts were committed by duress or fear; 2) the admission of evidence of his two convictions for sexual offenses was prejudicial error; and 3) the $600 fine under section 243.4 was unauthorized. Disagreeing, we shall affirm.


The Crimes

Victim L.P lived with her mother on the second floor of a duplex. Her grandmother lived downstairs. Her mother had known defendant since 1978 or 1979; they had dated in the 1990's. She now thought of defendant like a brother or a close family friend. She trusted him. L.P. sometimes called defendant "Uncle Doug."

The first time defendant molested L.P. was when she was in first or second grade, between August 2002 and June 2004. They were in her bedroom; defendant unzipped his pants and took out his penis and told her to touch it. His penis was hard. L.P. said she did not want to and defendant told her if she did not do it, something would happen to her mother. Her mother might be arrested. L.P. did not want that so she touched defendant's penis for a few seconds (count one). Defendant than touched L.P.'s vagina over her clothes (count two). L.P. was scared; defendant was bigger than she was and told her not to tell anyone. She did not tell her mother or grandmother because she did not want anything to happen to them.

About a year later, defendant touched her again while in her room. Defendant had his pants down and told L.P. to put her mouth on his penis. She did so (count three). Again, his penis was hard. Defendant pulled L.P.'s pants down and touched the outside of her vagina many times (count four). She was scared and did not tell anyone because she was afraid that defendant might hurt her or her family.

The third incident occurred while defendant was baby-sitting. L.P. was in bed, but not asleep and the lights were still on. Defendant came into the room naked and walked over to her. He took off her pants and underwear. He put his penis on her, rubbing it against her vagina (count five). He asked if he could put it inside and she said no. L.P. thought about getting up and leaving, but she could not because defendant was on top of her and he was heavy. Defendant told her that if she told anyone, he could get in trouble. She did not tell her mother. She was scared and thought it was her fault because she did not stop it.

L.P. testified defendant touched her other times, but these three incidents were the only concrete ones she could describe.*fn2 As she got older, she told defendant she did not want to do it anymore. She once asked him how old she was when it started and defendant replied that she was eight.


L.P. met R.D. in seventh grade and they became best friends. One day L.P. asked her friend to come to school early because she needed to talk. She told R.D. that a family friend, whom she identified as Uncle Doug, was touching her inappropriately. R.D. told L.P. she should tell her mother.

L.P. also told another friend in seventh grade. This disclosure was by texting. This friend also advised telling her mother. L.P. felt relief when she disclosed the abuse. But she was not yet ready to tell her mother because she knew it would hurt her.

In 2010, the summer before ninth grade, one of L.P.'s friends ran away with a boy. L.P. was very concerned about her friend's safety. When her mother probed about why she was so upset, L.P. finally disclosed that defendant had been touching her and making her ...

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