Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reversed and remanded

Okay, mistakes happen.

He gets a do-over, and possibly a higher sentence.

He wins but ultimately may lose.

Man's sex assault conviction overturned

The 4th Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned the sexual assault conviction of Jose Geraldo Castaneda-Lerma, setting aside a 15-year sentence handed down by a Kimble County jury.

The court cited discrepancies in the allegations contained in the indictment and the charge given to trial jurors by 198th District Court Judge Karl Prohl.

The appellate judges said the deviations made it impossible to tell whether jurors found proof to substantiate the allegation in the indictment that the defendant knew that his victim was ‘incapable either of appraising the nature of the (sexual assault) or of resisting it,' or simply found, as prosecutors said during closing arguments, that establishing that he used force was sufficient to convict.

District Attorney Ron Sutton didn't rule out appealing Wednesday's decision, but said, ‘There will be no problem retrying him and convicting him again because this was a severely retarded girl who was brutally raped.'