California Court of Appeals, Third District, Yolo
July 9, 2015
THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, JASON STEPHEN SIGUR, Defendant and Appellant.
[CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION] [*]]
APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Yolo County, No. CRF105047 Stephen L. Mock, Judge.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Kyle Gee, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.
Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Michael P. Farrell, Assistant Attorney General, Eric L. Christoffersen and Jennevee H. de Guzman, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
Defendant Jason Stephen Sigur appeals from a judgment of conviction following a jury trial. After meeting in an Internet chat room, defendant engaged in a sexual relationship with a thirteen-year-old girl for approximately two months, including in the home where the victim lived with her mother and grandmother after secretly entering through the victim’s bedroom window for that purpose. He was charged with 11 counts of contacting or communicating with a minor (Pen. Code, § 288.3, subd. (a) (Counts 1, 15-16, 21-22, 27-28, 33, 36, 39, 41)),  one count of kidnapping for purpose of lewd act upon a child (§ 207, subd. (b) (Count 2)), nine counts of first degree burglary (§ 459 (Counts 3, 17-18, 23-24, 29-30, 34, 37)), 20 counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under fourteen (§ 288, subd. (a); counts 4 through 14, 19-20, 25-26, 31-32, 35, 38, 40), and failure to register as a transient sex offender (§ 290.011, subd. (a) (Count 42)). It was further alleged that Count 2 came within the meaning of section 667.8, subdivision (b); Counts 3, 17-18, 23-24, 29-30, 34, and 37 came within the meaning of section 667.5, subdivision (c)(21); counts 4 through 6 and 8 through 14 came within the meaning of section 667.61, subdivisions (a) and (b); and counts 2 through 14, 17 through 20, 23 through 26, 29 through 32, 34 through 35, 37-38, and 40 came within the meaning of section 667, subdivision (a)(1), due to defendant’s prior conviction of a serious felony. A jury found defendant guilty on all counts and found the sexual conduct enhancement allegations true. In a bifurcated proceeding, the trial court found all strike allegations true. The trial court sentenced defendant to a determinate term of 103 years in prison plus an indeterminate term of 550 years to life.
On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) the prosecutor engaged in misconduct by misstating the law regarding reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court erred in denying defendant’s section 1118.1 motion for judgment of acquittal
as to the burglary counts because the evidence showed that the victim consented to his entry into the home knowing his intent to engage in sexual acts with her; (3) the prosecutor engaged in misconduct by misstating the law regarding the consent defense to burglary; (4) the cumulative effect of the prosecutorial misconduct requires reversal of the burglary counts; (5) section 288.3 is unconstitutionally vague; (6) section 288.3 is unconstitutionally overbroad; and (7) the 15-year enhancement imposed under section 667.8, subdivision (b), must be stayed because sentence was stayed on the underlying count.
We agree with defendant that the enhancement under 667.8, subdivision (b), must be stayed. We reject each of defendant’s other contentions.
In the published portion of this opinion, we address and reject defendant’s consent defense contentions regarding the burglary counts. We hold that when a defendant does not have an unconditional possessory right to enter as an occupant of the premises, a defense of consent to enter the premises for the purposes of engaging in felonious sexual conduct with a minor requires one of the following: (1) the minor has a possessory interest in the premises coequal to the parent or other adult owner/occupant and expressly and clearly invited the defendant to enter so the defendant could engage in felonious sexual conduct with the minor; (2) a parent or other adult who has a possessory interest in the premises expressly and clearly gave the defendant permission to enter for the purpose of engaging in felonious sexual conduct with the minor; or (3) the minor expressly and clearly gave the defendant permission to enter for the purpose of engaging in felonious sexual conduct with the minor, the minor had been given permission by the parent or other person with a possessory interest to allow entry into the premises for such purpose, and defendant knew that the minor had been given such permission. The evidence here did not establish any of the aforementioned alternatives.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The Trial Evidence
A.B. testified that she was born in June 1997. A.B.’s parents, D.B. (mother) and C.B. (father), were divorced and A.B. alternated every other week between her mother’s and father’s homes. At the time of her contacts with defendant, A.B. had a cell phone with Internet access and had access to a home computer at her mother’s home. When she stayed at her father’s home, she was not allowed to use her cell phone except to call her mother, and she did not have access to a computer there. When A.B. stayed at her
mother’s home, she occupied the front bedroom, her grandmother occupied the rear bedroom, and mother slept on the sofa in the living room.
A.B. testified that in late 2009, when she was 12 years old, she began visiting an online chat room on the airG Web site. Because airG required users to be at least 14 to create a profile and chat, A.B. created a profile listing her age as 14. She would visit the “singles” and “20’s” chat rooms to chat with others online every day. Her parents were unaware of her participation in these chat rooms.
In late August 2010, when A.B. was 13, she met defendant in a chat room when she asked whether anyone in the 916 or 530 area codes was in the chat room and defendant responded. A.B. viewed defendant’s profile, which indicated he was in his 20's. A.B. and defendant began chatting privately, and A.B. then gave defendant her cell phone number. Defendant sent A.B. a text message and they communicated by text messages for about 90 minutes. During this initial conversation, A.B. revealed that she was actually 13 and defendant revealed that he was actually 35, and the two agreed to meet in person. A.B. asked defendant to visit her, and later that same day, defendant met A.B. outside her mother’s home. He arrived in a purple Ford Ranger pick-up. Thereafter, defendant and A.B. took a 20-minute walk together. They agreed that if they ran into someone who questioned their age difference, they would say defendant was A.B.’s uncle.
A.B. testified that she and defendant continued to communicate via text messages daily, and defendant came to visit her at her mother’s house several days later. They walked to a more secluded area where defendant and A.B. kissed for a while and at defendant’s request, A.B. orally copulated him. During this visit, defendant told A.B. that he wanted to have sex with her. A.B. was a virgin at that time and she told him she was worried that it was not the right time for her and that her mother would find out. She also told him that she was worried he would leave her afterward, and defendant reassured her and told her that he loved her. A.B. then went to stay at her father’s house for a week, but she and defendant continued to send each other text messages when she was able to use her cell phone. They discussed their feelings for each other and agreed to become a couple.
When A.B. returned to her mother’s home the following week, she and defendant arranged to meet a third time. Defendant asked if he could come visit A.B. at her mother’s house, and she said yes. This time, defendant came to her bedroom window at night. Defendant pulled off the window screen and A.B. sat on the window sill. A.B. testified that she and defendant kissed and defendant touched her breast and vagina. Defendant again told A.B. that he wanted to have sex with her and she felt somewhat pressured but said she
was not ready. Defendant was outside A.B.’s window for several hours and then came inside her room to say good night. A.B. promised him that she would have sex with him the next time he visited her.
A.B. again went to her father’s house for a week, and she and defendant continued to send each other text messages and spoke over the phone. She told defendant she would “keep [her] promise.” A.B. testified that she felt like she had to keep her promise to have sex with defendant because she did not know him very well and “for a while [she] was scared that he was going to try to hurt [her] or pull a weapon on [her].” The next week when A.B. returned to stay with her mother, defendant and A.B. planned for him to come over for the fourth time, again at night while A.B.’s mother was sleeping. A.B. testified that when defendant arrived, she “just told him to come in” and defendant climbed through A.B.’s bedroom window. Defendant kissed and fondled A.B. and removed her clothing. A.B. orally copulated him and then defendant had vaginal intercourse with her. After this fourth visit, defendant made five or six similar visits to A.B. between September and October 15, 2010, and they had vaginal intercourse and she performed oral sex on defendant each time.
At some point during this time period, A.B.’s father found messages from defendant on A.B.’s cell phone and confronted her about them. A.B. told her parents that defendant was a 14-year-old boy who skateboarded in the neighborhood. After that, A.B. was not allowed to bring her cell phone to her father’s home and her mother would confiscate the phone at night while A.B. was staying at her mother’s home.
Father testified he had a phone conversation with a person who identified himself as Jason and sounded like an adult. Father asked Jason if he knew A.B. was a minor, and the man said A.B. told him she was 18. Father told him not to call back because she was only 13. He also told the man he would involve the sheriff’s office if the man contacted A.B. again. Father told A.B. he did not appreciate her talking to an adult and not to contact him again. Father took A.B.’s phone from her.
A.B. testified that on October 14, 2010, she was supposed to return to stay with her father, but she told defendant that she did not want to go there and wanted to stay with defendant instead. Defendant had previously told A.B. that he wanted her to come live with him. Defendant agreed to take A.B. that night to stay with him. When defendant arrived, A.B. again opened her
window to let defendant come into her room. A.B. packed her clothing and possessions, and defendant brought her a bag to carry them and helped her pack. A.B. did not pack her cell phone because her mother had it in the living room. She left with defendant through the window around midnight, and they replaced the window screen. Defendant drove a white Yukon, which he said he borrowed because his pick-up was out of gas. They planned to tell others that A.B.’s father could no longer take care of her and defendant was a friend of her father’s. They stopped at Walmart for various sundries for A.B. on the way to defendant’s home, which was in a trailer park in Woodland. When they arrived at defendant’s trailer, defendant and A.B. had vaginal intercourse. Defendant then returned the Yukon, which he had borrowed from his estranged wife. Afterward, they returned to the trailer and had vaginal intercourse a second time.
A.B. testified that the next morning, October 15, she and defendant woke up early and went for a walk, during which A.B. met defendant’s former roommate, Brandon K. A.B. testified that defendant received two or three phone calls, and A.B. saw that one of them was her mother calling from A.B.’s cell phone. Defendant then went to school, leaving A.B. alone in his trailer.
Mother testified that when she discovered A.B. was missing on the morning of October 15, she called 911 and called father. Suspecting that A.B. was with defendant, who she thought to be a 14 year old in the neighborhood, Mother then called his number from A.B.’s phone and left a message that she was looking for A.B. After a deputy sheriff arrived at Mother's home in response to her 911 call, Mother checked the household computer and found a conversation with defendant on A.B.’s instant messenger account, which she provided to the deputy.
Deputy Laura Bradshaw testified that after interviewing father and mother and obtaining defendant’s cell phone number, she received authorization to ping the cell phone and found its location in Dunnigan. She then contacted the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department and requested a welfare check at that address. Deputies Roman Keister and Matthew Davis conducted the welfare check and spoke with a woman who informed them that defendant was her stepmother’s husband but no longer lived there. She told the deputies that defendant lived at a nearby trailer park and drove a purple truck. The deputies went to the trailer park and found a purple Ford Ranger with a license plate registered in defendant’s name parked next to a trailer. Deputy Keister testified that A.B. responded to their knock on the trailer door. She asked Deputy Keister if her parents were with him. He explained that they were not, but that they were worried about her. She told the deputies that she did not want to be there and she was afraid that she would never see her parents again. Deputy Keister testified that A.B. then hugged and thanked him.
A.B. was taken to the sheriff’s department where she was interviewed by two detectives. A.B. initially lied to the first detective, Detective Dean Nyland, about having sex with defendant because she was afraid of getting in trouble and felt awkward talking about it. Detective Nyland testified that he thought A.B. would be more comfortable talking to a female detective, and Detective Jennifer Davis took over the interview. A.B. then told Detective Davis the full story and admitted that she had a sexual relationship with defendant.
Thereafter, A.B. was taken to a hospital where she underwent a forensic sexual assault examination. Dr. Angela Rosas testified that she collected swabs of semen from A.B.’s vagina and underwear. It was later determined that the DNA from these swabs matched defendant. Additionally, DNA from semen found on A.B.’s mattress cover in her room at mother's home matched defendant.
Defendant’s former roommate, Brandon K., testified that defendant asked him to move out of the trailer because his girlfriend was moving in with him. Additionally, Brandon K. testified that defendant had talked about A.B. by her first name and bragged about having sex with her. He testified that on the morning of October 15, defendant introduced him to A.B. as his girlfriend.
The prosecution presented additional evidence, including a receipt from Walmart and security video footage showing defendant and A.B. at the cash register at 1:36 a.m. on October 15, 2010. Further, there were cell phone records of numerous calls and text messages between defendant and A.B.
While being transported to the sheriff’s office after his arrest, defendant asked why he had been arrested and Deputy Keister told him that he was wanted for questioning about a missing girl found in his trailer. Defendant replied, “What girl[?] When I left this morning no one was in my trailer.”
Defendant was later interviewed by Detective Nyland. Initially, he said he only met in person two women he had first met in chat rooms, but denied meeting anyone else from a chat room in person. He denied knowing anyone in El Dorado Hills and denied even knowing where El Dorado Hills was located or how to get there. He admitted receiving a voicemail from a D.B., but said the call came from a phone number he did not recognize. In the voicemail, mother said something about her daughter being missing, but defendant said he had no idea who mother was. He denied ever hearing the name A.B. or meeting anyone with A.B.’s first name in a chat room. He denied picking A.B. up at her house and taking her to his trailer. He said he did not know A.B. and claimed he never met A.B.
Early in the interview defendant claimed he met a young female at his trailer park the day of his arrest who approached him and asked what it was
like to live there. He first said the girl appeared to be 15 or 16. Later in the interview, when asked how he would explain his DNA inside the victim, he said the girl he met at the trailer park that day had flirted with him and followed him into his trailer. He said nothing happened between the two of them and that when he left his trailer, there was nobody there. Later, he said the girl indentified herself by her first name [A.] and that he had actually met her in a chat room in June. Defendant claimed she told him she had just turned 18. He claimed that she came on to him and he had vaginal intercourse with her in his trailer. Thereafter, at her request, they walked around the trailer park together. Defendant denied ever going to the girl’s house, but said they had texted each other daily since they met in the chat room. He said multiple times that he did not know how the girl got to his trailer park and that day had been the first time he physically met the girl. He said he did not know in advance that she was coming. On multiple occasions during the interview, he denied picking her up at her house. He also denied entering the house through the girl’s window and said the last time he had climbed through a window was when he was 17. Multiple times during the interview, he denied ever going to the girl’s house. And he denied being with the girl in Walmart earlier that morning. In contrast to his earlier statement that the girl was around 15 or 16, at this point in the interview he claimed the girl seemed at least 18 to him.
While defendant was in custody at the jail, he asked a volunteer to send a message to A.B.’s e-mail on his behalf. The message said, “[H]e still loves you and asks that you please write him.”
Defendant did not present any testimony in his defense.
Verdict and Sentencing
The jury found defendant guilty on all counts and found all sexual conduct enhancement allegations true. In a bifurcated proceeding, the court found the strike allegations true.
The trial court sentenced defendant to a total determinate term of 103 years in prison plus an indeterminate term of 550 years to life.
I. Prosecutors Comment on Reasonable Doubt [*]
II. Burglary and the Consent Defense
A. Background and Defendant’s Contentions
At the conclusion of all of the evidence, defendant moved for judgment of acquittal as to five of the burglary counts, contending that A.B.’s testimony was insufficient to support a jury finding that defendant entered mother's home on five of the charged occasions. The trial court denied defendant’s motion on the basis raised by defendant, finding sufficient evidence to proceed to jury deliberation on these counts. The court then considered a separate basis for a judgment of acquittal that defendant did not raise himself: “There is a separate issue, and that is a consent issue.... [¶]... To support a consent defense the evidence has to show that the occupant, that is [A.B.], expressly invited the defendant into the bedroom. [¶] In reviewing my notes I don’t find any evidence of an express invitation before October 14th or October 15th. So I don’t find that one of the prerequisites to a consent defense is supported by the evidence. The jury may take a different tack on this, but I would not dismiss any of the burglary charges based on a purported consent defense untilthrough October 14th, 15th.” The court reasoned that while there was evidence of A.B.’s express consent to enter the home on October 14th, the night of the kidnapping, there was not sufficient evidence that A.B. knew of defendant’s felonious intent. Thus, the court ruled that “the consent defense would [not] justify dismissing any of the burglary charges.” However, the court later instructed the jury on the consent defense in a special instruction requested by defendant.
On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred in ruling an “ ‘express invitation’ ” is required to establish the consent defense to burglary charges. Defendant also argues that the trial court should have granted his section 1118.1 motion because there was substantial evidence that A.B. consented to defendant’s entry into her mother’s home and did so with knowledge of his felonious intent, i.e., that defendant intended to have sex with her.
A trial court’s evaluation of a motion for acquittal is governed by the same substantial evidence test used in an appellate challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. The trial court determines “whether from the evidence then in the record, including reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom, there is substantial evidence of the existence of every element of the offense charged.” (People v. Coffman and Marlow (2004) 34 Cal.4th 1, 89 [17 Cal.Rptr.3d 710, 96 P.3d 30].) The court must evaluate the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. (Porter v. Superior Court (2009) 47 Cal.4th 125, 132 [97 Cal.Rptr.3d 103, 211 P.3d 606]; People v. Cole (2004) 33 Cal.4th 1158, 1212 [17 Cal.Rptr.3d 532, 95 P.3d 811].) If the record can reasonably support a finding of guilt, a motion for acquittal must be denied even if the record might also justify a contrary finding. (See People v. Holt (1997) 15 Cal.4th 619, 668 [63 Cal.Rptr.2d 782, 937 P.2d 213].)
The offense of burglary is committed when a person enters a building with the intent to commit a theft or a felony. (§ 459.) However, a defense to a charge of burglary is available “when the owner actively invites the accused to enter, knowing the illegal, felonious intention in the mind of the invitee. [Citation.] But the invitation by the owner to enter must be express and clear; merely standing by or passively permitting the entry will not do. [Citation.]... [T]he owner-possessor must know the felonious intention of the invitee. There must be evidence ‘of informed consent to enter coupled with the “visitor’s” knowledge the occupant is aware of the felonious purpose and does not challenge it.’ ” (People v. Felix (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 1385, 1397-1398 [28 Cal.Rptr.2d 860], third italics added (Felix).) “[T]he burglary law is designed to protect a possessory right in property against intrusion and the risk of harm.” (People v. Superior Court (Granillo) (1988) 205 Cal.App.3d 1478, 1485 [253 Cal.Rptr. 316] (Granillo), citing People v. Gauze (1975) 15 Cal.3d 709, 713-715 [125 Cal.Rptr. 773, 542 P.2d 1365] (Gauze).) Lack of consent is not an element of burglary. (People v. Sherow (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1296, 1304 [128 Cal.Rptr.3d 255]; Felix, at p. 1397.) The burden of proof regarding the consent defense is on the defendant, because the exonerating facts establishing the consent defense are particularly within the knowledge of the defendant. (Sherow, at pp. 1304-1305.) But the defendant’s burden is simply to raise a reasonable doubt as to the facts underlying the consent defense: (1) whether an owner/possessor invited defendant to enter; (2) whether the owner/possessor knew of defendant’s felonious intention; and (3) whether defendant knew the owner/possessor knew of defendant’s felonious intent. (Id. at pp. 1305-1309.) As the Felix court explained, the invitation to enter must be express and clear. (Felix, at p. 1398 [implied consent of
defendant’s sister to enter her home and take her property was insufficient to establish a consent defense to burglary].)
The trial court ruled that there was insufficient evidence of A.B.’s express invitation to warrant a directed acquittal under section 1118.1. However, as defendant points out, A.B. testified that she expressly invited defendant to come into her bedroom through the window on the fourth visit and testified that she intended to “fulfill [her] promise” by having sex with defendant for the first time. Additionally, in reference to the final occasion where defendant entered A.B.’s bedroom on the night of the kidnapping, A.B. testified that she opened her bedroom window to let him in. Further, A.B. described all of defendant’s other visits after the fourth visit as substantially the same as the fourth visit. Accordingly, there was undisputed evidence establishing that A.B. expressly invited defendant into the home knowing his intent to engage in sexual activity with her. However, as we discuss in detail post, more is required.
This case raises an issue not squarely addressed in published California case law: whether, for purposes of the consent defense to a burglary charge, a minor may consent to entry of her parent’s home by someone who intends to engage in felonious sexual conduct with the minor. While this case presents a novel question, we are not without guidance.
We begin with Gauze, supra, 15 Cal.3d 709, where presented with the question of whether a person can burglarize his or her own home, our high court discussed the common law underpinnings and statutory intent of section 459 and the concept of consent. In Gauze, the defendant was charged with burglarizing his own apartment where he lived with roommates when he entered the apartment with the felonious intent of shooting one of the roommates. (15 Cal.3d at pp. 711-714.) The court noted that “section 459, while substantially changing common law burglary, has retained two important aspects of that crime. A burglary remains an entry which invades a possessory right in a building. And it still must be committed by a person who has no right to be in the building.” (Id. at p. 714.) The court reasoned that the defendant invaded no possessory right of habitation. (Ibid.) Thus, the court concluded that the defendant could not be guilty of burglarizing his own home because he had “an absolute right to enter the apartment” and that right was not “conditioned on the consent of defendant’s roommates.” (Ibid.)
In reaching its conclusion, the Gauze court distinguished People v. Sears (1965) 62 Cal.2d 737 [44 Cal.Rptr. 330, 401 P.2d 938]. In Sears, a man who
had been living in his wife’s home but who was separated from her and living in a hotel was charged with the murder of his wife’s daughter. The murder took place in his wife’s home and the prosecution advanced a felony murder theory grounded on the theory that the defendant committed a burglary when he entered the home with the intent to assault his wife. (Id. at pp. 740-741.) The Gauze court reasoned that Sears was properly convicted of felony murder because “even if he had a right to enter, the right was based on former section 157 of the Civil Code [currently Fam. Code, § 753], which gave a person the right to enter the separate property of his or her spouse, subject to certain conditions. Thus Sears’ ‘right’ to enter his wife’s house... was at best conditional. An entry for anything but a legal purpose was a breach of his wife’s possessory rights....” (Gauze, supra, 15 Cal.3d at p. 715.)
The concept of consent in burglary cases was further refined in Granillo, supra, 205 Cal.App.3d 1478 [253 Cal.Rptr. 316]. There, the defendant was charged with burglary after entering an apartment upon the invitation of undercover police officers who set up a sting operation by inviting the defendant and others to enter the apartment in order to sell stolen goods to the officers. (Id. at pp. 1480-1481.) Fleshing out the consent defense, the Court of Appeal noted that the occupant was fully aware of the defendant’s felonious purpose in entering the apartment. (Id. at pp. 1484-1485.) The court also cited Gauze and explained that “the burglary law is designed to protect a possessory right in property against intrusion and the risk of harm. [Citation.] Granillo was not an intruder, nor did any danger to personal safety arise from his mere entry.” (Id. at p. 1485.) Because the defendant entered the apartment with the officers’ informed consent, the court concluded that to find him “guilty of burglary would be contrary to the primary basis of the burglary law.” (Ibid.)
The rule was further evolved by this court in People v. Salemme (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 775 [3 Cal.Rptr.2d 398] (Salemme), in which the defendant entered a residence with the intent to sell the occupants fraudulent securities. (Id. at p. 777.) The Salemne court held, “since burglary is a breach of the occupant’s possessory rights, a person who enters a structure enumerated in section 459 with the intent to commit a felony is guilty of burglary except when he or she (1) has an unconditional possessory right to enter as the occupant of that structure or (2) is invited in by the occupant who knows of and endorses the felonious intent.” (Id. at p. 781.) Citing Gauze, the court reasoned that “a ‘burglary remains an entry which invades a possessory right in a building. And it still must be committed by a person who has no right to be in the building.’ [Citation.] [¶] A person has a right to be in a structure
when he or she has an unconditional possessory right to enter (as in Gauze where the accused had the right to enter his own home, even for a felonious purpose) or where the person has expressly or impliedly been invited to enter and does so for a lawful reason.” (2 Cal.App.4th at p. 779.)
With this history of the consent defense in mind, we turn to cases involving minors. In In re Andrew I. (1991) 230 Cal.App.3d 572 [281 Cal.Rptr. 570] (Andrew I.), another minor, Scott, invited Andrew and a third minor to enter Scott’s mother’s home for the purpose of stealing her property. (Id. at p. 577.) Scott’s mother testified that Scott had resided with her, but left the home one or two weeks prior to the burglary and had not returned. (Id. at p. 576.) While Andrew’s felonious intent to steal was known to Scott and Scott helped him enter the home for that purpose, there is no indication that Scott’s mother consented to Andrew entering her home for the purpose of committing a theft. (Ibid.) On appeal, Andrew challenged the burglary finding in his juvenile proceeding, contending that Scott had a possessory interest in the premises and invited Andrew to enter with knowledge of his felonious intent. (Id. at p. 578.)The Court of Appeal affirmed the burglary finding, first noting that Andrew lacked any possessory interest in or right to enter the premises. (Ibid.) The court then reasoned that Andrew could not invoke the consent defense because “Scott did not have an unconditional possessory interest in his mother’s residence.” (Id. at p. 579.) The court further reasoned that, separate from the fact Scott had left the home one or two weeks before the burglary, Scott did not “acquire a possessory interest simply because his mother had an obligation to support him. ‘The parental obligation to provide for necessaries does not imply a possessory right in the parental residence.... Financial support is all that is required by law. No possessory right in a parental residence is implied by this duty of financial support.’ ” (Ibid., quoting In re Richard M. (1988) 205 Cal.App.3d 7, 15 [252 Cal.Rptr. 36].)
Although outside the context of burglary case law, the California Supreme Court’s analysis in People v. Jacobs (1987) 43 Cal.3d 472 [233 Cal.Rptr. 323. 729 P.2d 757] (Jacobs) is also instructive. There, the court analyzed the question of whether a minor may consent to a police search of her parents’ home. The court held that the 11-year-old child lacked authority to permit plain clothes police officers to enter and search the home while her parents
were away. (Id. at pp. 481-482.) The court reasoned, “Minor children... do not have coequal dominion over the family home. [Citation.] Although parents may choose to grant their minor children joint access and mutual use of the home, parents normally retain control of the home as well as the power to rescind the authority they have given. ‘It does not startle us that a parent’s consent to a search of the living room in the absence of his minor child is given effect; but we should not allow the police to rely on the consent of the child to bind the parent. The common sense of the matter is that the... parent has not surrendered his privacy of place in the living room to the discretion of the... child; rather, the latter [has] privacy of place there in the discretion of the former.’ [Citations.]” (Id. at p. 482.)
In Jacobs, the court acknowledged that “[a]s a child advances in age she acquires greater discretion to admit visitors on her own authority. In some circumstances, a teenager may possess sufficient authority to allow the police to enter and look about common areas.” (Jacobs, supra, 43 Cal.3d at p. 483.) However, the court reasoned that “[a]n entry based on the unauthorized consent of an 11-year-old child... frustrates the objectives of [section 844]. It violates the privacy rights of the parents and increases the likelihood that an adult occupant will be startled by the apparently unauthorized intrusion and react violently out of concern for the safety of the child.” (Ibid.) Accordingly, the Supreme Court clarified that a minor’s authority over the family home derives from the parents’ authority as the primary legal possessors. (Ibid.)
Courts in several sister states have discussed a minor’s purported consent to burglary. We discuss two such cases because they illustrate circumstances showing both the minor’s lack of authority to consent and the defendant’s knowledge that the minor did not have authority to consent.
In a North Carolina case, State v. Brown (2006) 176 N.C.App. 72 [626 S.E.2d 307], the 45-year-old defendant engaged in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl he met online. The minor agreed to help sneak the defendant into her bedroom in her parents’ home for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts. (Id. at pp. 310-311.) The defendant challenged his burglary conviction on appeal, contending there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction because the minor consented to his entry of her bedroom for the felonious purpose. (Id. at p. 312.) In North Carolina, the consent defense requires that the defendant show a good faith belief that he has the consent of the owner/occupant or his or her authorized agent to enter the premises. (Ibid.) The court held that the evidence did not support a consent defense, reasoning that “[a] child who has a room in his or her parents’ house does not have unlimited authority to allow entry to visitors. [Citation.] Courts considering consent to entry given by a son or daughter have focused on the
purpose of the entry and whether the child had authority to consent to entry for that purpose.” (Ibid.) The court explained that the “[d]efendant’s covert actions such as arriving late at night, wearing camouflage, signaling [the minor] with a red penlight, taking precautions about turning off lights, and hiding in [the minor’s] closet all suggest that he did not believe [the minor] had full authority to allow him into her parents’ house.” (Ibid.;see State v. Tolley (1976) 30 N.C.App. 213 [226 S.E.2d 672, 674] [reasoning that that the defendant could not have reasonably believed that the child had authority to permit him to enter the home for the purpose of committing a felony].)
In an Indiana case, Holman v. State (Ind.Ct.App. 2004) 816 N.E.2d 78, a minor invited her adult boyfriend to enter her parents’ home through her bedroom window. (Id. at pp. 80-81.) He was convicted of residential entry and contended on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because the minor consented to his entry into the home. (Id. at p. 81.) Like North Carolina, in Indiana, the consent defense requires that the defendant have a reasonable belief that he has permission to enter. (Ibid.) Further, the Holman court required that the defendant have a reasonable belief that the minor had authority to give consent to enter. (Id. at p. 82.) The court held that the defendant should have known that the minor lacked authority to admit him: “on every occasion that [the minor] had Holman over to her house, she did so surreptitiously without her parents’ knowledge or permission.” (Ibid.)
Based on both our review of California case law and cases in sister states, we conclude that the consent defense is not applicable here. When the defendant does not have an unconditional possessory right to enter as an occupant of the premises, a defense of consent to enter the premises for the purposes of engaging in felonious sexual conduct with a minor requires one of the following: (1) the minor has a possessory interest in the premises coequal to the parent or other adult owner/occupant and expressly and clearly invited the defendant to enter so the defendant could engage in sexual conduct with the minor; (2) a parent or other adult who has a possessory interest in the premises expressly and clearly gave the defendant permission to enter for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with the minor; or (3) the minor expressly and clearly gave the defendant permission to enter for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with the minor, the minor had been given permission by the parent or other person with a possessory interest to
allow entry for such purpose, and defendant knew that the minor had been given such permission. Here, there is no evidence to support a consent defense under any theory.
There is no evidence that mother consented to defendant’s conduct. There is no evidence in the record that A.B., a 13-year-old minor living in her mother’s home, had authority to invite an adult man into the home for the purpose of having unlawful sexual relations with her. Indeed, there is evidence in the record suggesting that both A.B. and defendant knew that A.B. lacked authority to invite an adult male into her room. Every aspect of defendant’s encounters with A.B. was secretive and designed to prevent discovery by her mother. A.B. specifically testified that she “knew that it wasn’t right for an adult and a minor to be together.” She told defendant that she was worried her mother would find out about their relationship. A.B. testified that this is why she and defendant agreed to have defendant sneak through her bedroom window late at night after mother was asleep. Additionally, A.B. hid the identity of defendant from mother by telling her that he was a 14 year old who skateboarded in the neighborhood. And defendant’s false statements to the police about not knowing who mother was and claiming he had never been to the house show that defendant knew that he did not have permission from mother to enter her home to have sex with her daughter and that A.B. did not have mother's permission to allow him to enter for that purpose.
In his briefing on a related issue, defendant raises the valid point that “[n]ot everyone present on a premises need give consent for the ‘consent’ defense to apply”; however, mother was not merely “present” at the home. Rather, mother was the occupant with a possessory interest in the home and any authority A.B. had over the premises would have derived from her mother’s possessory interest. Unlike, for example, a case where one of two or more adult roommates or one spouse provides consent to burglary without the other’s knowledge,  minor children do not generally have a possessory interest in the home. Unlike the facts in Gauze, where the defendant had “an absolute right to enter the apartment” and that right was not “conditioned on the consent of defendant’s roommates” (Gauze, supra, 15 Cal.3d at p. 714), a minor’s authority over the premises is derivative. (See Jacobs, supra, 43 Cal.3d at p. 482 [“Minor children... do not have coequal dominion over the family home.”]; Andrew I., supra, 230 Cal.App.3d at p. 579 [“ ‘The parental obligation to provide for necessaries does not imply a possessory right in the parental residence.’ ”].)
We conclude that defendant invaded mother's possessory interest in the home and the evidence did not show that A.B. had the authority to allow defendant into the home to engage in felonious sexual relations with her. Moreover, the evidence shows defendant knew A.B. had no such authority. Accordingly, we conclude that the court did not err in denying defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal.
The judgment is modified to stay execution of the sentence for the section 667.8, subdivision (b), enhancement imposed on Count 2. The trial court is directed to amend the abstract of judgment in accordance with this opinion
and forward the amended abstract to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The judgment is otherwise affirmed.
Nicholson, Acting P. J., and Mauro, J., concurred.