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Ivey v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District
Nov 29, 2023
No. 1D2022-0841 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2023)

Opinion

1D2022-0841

11-29-2023

Arthur Ivey, Appellant, v. State of Florida, Appellee.

Jessica J. Yeary, Public Defender, and Megan L. Long, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant. Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Virginia Chester Harris, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.


Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

On appeal from the Circuit Court for Gadsden County. Robert R. Wheeler, Judge.

Jessica J. Yeary, Public Defender, and Megan L. Long, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Virginia Chester Harris, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

PER CURIAM

Arthur Ivey challenges his convictions and sentences for two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation. At trial, the State established that Ivey molested the victim for several years, starting when the victim was ten years old. The State also introduced evidence that Ivey molested the victim's two siblings during the same period. On appeal, Ivey argues that the trial court improperly permitted this collateral act evidence, claiming that its probative value was substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. We disagree and affirm.

We review a trial court's ruling on the admissibility of collateral act evidence for abuse of discretion. See Youngblood v. State, 348 So.3d 1260, 1261 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). In cases involving child molestation, evidence of a defendant's commission of other acts of child molestation is admissible and may be considered subject to a relevancy determination. § 90.404(2)(b)1., Fla. Stat. (2021); see also McLean v. State, 934 So.2d 1248, 1255-56 (Fla. 2006). A trial court must consider whether the evidence's "probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, misleading the jury, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence." McLean, 934 So.2d at 1255-56 (first quoting § 90.403, Fla. Stat. (2005); and then citing Williams v. State, 621 So.2d 413, 415 (Fla. 1993)).

The trial court must consider all relevant factors in determining the relevance of collateral act crimes. McLean, 934 So.2d at 1262 (providing that the trial court should at a minimum evaluate "(1) the similarity of the prior acts to the act charged regarding the location of where the acts occurred, the age and gender of the victims, and the manner in which the acts were committed; (2) the closeness in time of the prior acts to the act charged; (3) the frequency of the prior acts; and (4) the presence or lack of intervening circumstances"). In this case, the trial court allowed the victim's siblings to testify that Ivey also touched them sexually. The alleged abuse took place in Ivey's home, while he was serving as one of the siblings' caregivers, during the same period as the victim's abuse. All three siblings were close in age and the same gender. Together, the siblings' testimonies showcased a pattern of sexual abuse in the home. Based on these similarities, the evidence's probative value is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.

Further, the collateral act evidence did not become a feature of the trial. Peralta-Morales v. State, 143 So.3d 483, 486 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014) (citing McLean, 934 So.2d at 1259). The State's opening statement focused on the victim and only mentioned her siblings in explaining how the abuse came to light. Moreover, the siblings' testimonies were brief. Along with recounting their own experiences, their testimonies served the purpose of corroborating the victim's allegations. The siblings' mother also mostly testified about the allegations pertaining to the victim, not her other children. Lastly, the jury appropriately received a limiting instruction before hearing the evidence. Id. (citing McLean, 934 So.2d at 1259). Based on these facts, the collateral crime evidence did not become a feature of the trial.

Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the collateral act evidence, we affirm Ivey's convictions and sentences.

AFFIRMED.

ROWE, RAY, and NORDBY, JJ., concur.


Summaries of

Ivey v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District
Nov 29, 2023
No. 1D2022-0841 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2023)
Case details for

Ivey v. State

Case Details

Full title:Arthur Ivey, Appellant, v. State of Florida, Appellee.

Court:Florida Court of Appeals, First District

Date published: Nov 29, 2023

Citations

No. 1D2022-0841 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2023)