Rape conviction overturned because of rights violation
May 27, 2005
The Nevada Supreme Court has overturned the rape conviction of John Rosky because of a combination of errors by the trial judge including allowing testimony involving an incident involving another young girl eight years earlier.
The prosecution had argued that testimony was to show a common scheme or plan in Rosky’s conduct. But the high court said the prosecution used that testimony to prejudice the jury panel against Rosky’s character in the Reno case. It pointed to the prosecution’s opening statement that “this is really a case of two victims separated by time and distance.”
Prosecutors also argued and won the right to introduce a police videotape of Rosky confessing to consensual sexual conduct with the 13-year-old girl.
The panel consisting of Michael Douglas, Bill Maupin and Ron Parraguirre ruled that the consent issue was central to the sexual assault charge but the admission was to statutory sexual seduction and “overwhelming evidence does not support the sexual assault conviction.”
The opinion also states that the “highly prejudicial evidence” concerning the earlier victim of fondling by Rosky should not have been admitted.
“The bad act testimony improperly placed Rosky’s character at issue,” the opinion said.
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The high court overturned the sexual assault conviction but upheld his indecent exposure conviction.
The case was returned to Washoe District Judge Steve Elliott’s court for a new trial.
– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.