This essay Kansas v. Dinh Loc Ta has a total of 761 words and 3 pages.
Kansas v. Dinh Loc Ta
Facts: On the date of 19 July 2009, Ta was at a Wichita, Kansas movie theater along with two young girls, a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old, along with their mothers. Ta approached the two mothers and the two girls and introduced himself. Ta then sat on the bench next to the 3-year-old and tried to talk with her. Ta then moved the girl's hair out of her face, "kind if caressing her face" and began to rub the girls arm and leg as a "comforting pat" as testified by the two mothers. Ta then approached the younger girl and again tried to talk to her by asking her name. Ta touched the younger girls face and hair and asked the girl what was wrong. When the girl did not respond, Ta walked away. The two mothers called the police to report Ta for touching their daughters. The officer on scene conducted a preliminary interview on Ta which he stated "he need help from a doctor because he wanted to have sex with children". When Ta was asked by the officer if "touching the girls satisfied his sexual desires" Ta stated "he wanted to have sex with them". Ta was charged and tried under violation of K.S.A. 21-3504(a)(3)(A); (a) Aggravated indecent with a child, (3) engaging in any of the following with a child under the age of 14 years of age, (A) Any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the offender, or both. During the trial Ta did not argue the intent but did argue that he did not meet the criteria for the lewd touching. The Judge denied his motion for acquittal and was found guilty and sentence to two concurrent life sentences with possibility of parole after 25 years.
Issue(s) Presented: The issues presented by Ta was first, the wrong statue was applied to the case and the second issue was that Ta argued that there was no evidence that supported the violation of the lewd fondling or touching. Did the prosecution present enough evidence that supported the Actus Rea of the lewd touching act and not only on the intent?
Holding: In a Mala in se crime the following elements must be present in the crime; Actus rea, Mens rea, Intent, and Causation. All elements must be proved beyond reasonable doubt under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Rationale: The State mainly focused on Ta's intent and not his action. Also, the judge ruled in error in Ta's motion for the acquittal due to the insufficient evidence of each element of the crime. Ta argued that there must be proof beyond the reasonable doubt under Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. There was sufficient evidence on Ta's intent, but the question come in if there was evidence beyond reasonable doubt of the actus rea of the crime of lewd fondling or touching. During Jackson v. Virginia (1979) when the defendant motions for acquittal due to the sufficiency of evidence, the court must determine if the juror could find proof beyond reasonable doubt with the evidence presented.
2. The State argued the trial judge's decision was correct in denying Ta's motion because the judge took in consideration the totality of the circumstance along with citing State v. Rutherford and State v. Stout which the state didn't have to argue the element of intent because it was incorporated in the definition. However, in State v. Wells (1977) the court mislabeled the definition of the crime of indecent liberties with a child by stating the one element of the crime. The court actually stated both element of the crime in the definition of the lewd fondling or touching.
Justice Luckert's conclusion was the definition of lewd fondling or touch is "done in a manner which tends to undermine the morals of the victim, which is so clearly offensive as to outrage the moral senses of a reasonable person". Justice Luckert stated that the State's evidence of Ta touching the hair, face arm and leg was not