Sexual Assault: Child Abuse

by Kiana DelGrosso

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE, v. ISRAHEL CRUZ, APPELLANT.

This appeal is by Mr. Cruz who was charged with attempted first degree sexual assault of a child, attempted incest pertaining to his daughter, and child abuse. Cruz states that the evidence convicting him of first degree sexual assault and attempted incest were insufficient when pertaining to his daughter G. C. The court agrees that there was insufficient amount of evidence pertaining to the conviction of first degree sexual assault and attempted incest when pertaining to his daughter G. C. However, the charges of child abuse to G. C. and all charges relating to his other daughter V.C. are affirmed.

Each child had testified against their father explaining to the jury and the court using diagrams what their father had done. Cruz was first convicted of charges involving G. C. as first degree attempted sexual assault of a child, attempted incest, and child abuse. In the case of V. C., Cruz was convicted of first degree sexual assault of a child, incest, a first and second count of visual depictions of sexual conduct with a child participant, and child abuse. However, this appeal is aimed at the charges of attempted first degree sexual assault and attempted incest with G. C. because of insufficient evidence and the lack of credibility V. C. has pertaining to her allegations of sexual abuse. According to the statute Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-703(1), first degree of sexual assault of a child and incest require penetration to have occurred. In this case, that aspect was not met when recounting both girls’ statements.

When moving onto the V. C., Cruz stated that there was a prior sexual assault that had occurred on his daughter by someone else. The appeal wished to eliminate her credibility as a witness and victim because of this prior ordeal. However, this was not excluded because Cruz had not been able to provide any substantial evidence that convinced the court that V. C.’s statements were not credible. There was only insufficient evidence to support Cruz’ conviction for first degree attempted sexual assault of a child and attempted incest because of lack of penetration being evident. The other charges still stand.

State v. Cruz, No. A-15-097., NEBRASKA COURT OF APPEALS, 23 Neb. App. 814; 876 N.W.2d 404; 2016 Neb. App. LEXIS 66, March 22, 2016, Filed

Citation: 23 Neb. App. 814; 876 N.W.2d 404; 2016 Neb. App. LEXIS 66. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/24.

Website: file:///C:/Users/great/Downloads/AppellateOpinion.pdf

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