Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 28, 2020


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Court of Appeal:

Possession of Child Porn Admissible in Rape Case

Father Was Properly Convicted of Sexual Assaults on His Daughter, a Minor, Justice Kim Declares


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Court of Appeal for this district on Friday affirmed the conviction of a man on multiple counts of raping his daughter, a minor, rejecting his contention that evidence of his possession of child pornography and history of visiting websites featuring child pornography and incest was improperly admitted.

Justice Dorothy Kim of Div. Five wrote the unpublished opinion which upholds the conviction of Jayson Gaela Rosacia.

He was arrested by Los Angeles police on Aug. 29, 2017—at which time his daughter, J.R., was 13—and was convicted by a jury on Galea May 8, 2019, of all 12 counts on which he was charged. On May 30, 2019, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Dohi sentenced him to 180 years to life in prison.

On appeal, he contended Dohi erred in linking him to child pornography.

Not Unduly Prejudicial

Kim wrote:

“[T]o the extent defendant argues that admission of this evidence was unduly prejudicial, we disagree. The testimony regarding the search terms and images was relatively brief, especially compared to the numerous witnesses who testified about defendant’s abuse of J.R. We also disagree with defendant’s contention that jurors were likely to find defendant’s possession of child pornography more repugnant than defendant’s years-long and multiple acts of rape against his daughter. We thus agree with the trial court that the admission of such evidence was not unduly prejudicial.”

She also specified that the evidence was properly admitted under Evidence Code §1101(b) which authorizes “the admission of evidence that a person committed a crime, civil wrong, or other act when relevant to prove some fact (such as motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake or accident, or whether a defendant in a prosecution for an unlawful sexual act or attempted unlawful sexual act did not reasonably and in good faith believe that the victim consented) other than his or her disposition to commit such an act.”

Evidence Was Relevant

The jurist explained:

“The information charged defendant with three counts of sexual penetration of J.R. As the court instructed the jury, the prosecution was required to prove that when defendant sexually penetrated J.R., he did so ‘for the purpose of sexual abuse, arousal, or gratification.’ Accordingly, defendant’s search for and possession of child pornographic images was relevant to defendant’s motive and intent.”

Even if it was error to admit the evidence, Kim said—noting that it wasn’t—that error would have been harmless in light of the abundance of evidence of guilt.

The case is People v. Rosacia, B298530.

On Aug. 23, 2019, Rosacia’s wife filed for a dissolution of marriage. The action is pending.


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