This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Filed May 2, 2006
Beltrami County District Court
File No. K8-03-1705
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, James B. Early, Assistant Attorney
Marc G. Kurzman, Kurzman Grant Law Office,
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Ross, Judge; and Crippen, Judge.
In a bench trial, appellant Chester Grauberger was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The trial followed appellant’s jury waiver, which also addressed aggravating sentencing factors. Although he acknowledges protection of his procedural rights at trial, including the sufficiency of his jury waiver, appellant claims that the waiver was incomplete without separately addressing his rights to present evidence and defend against claims of aggravating factors. Because aggravating factors were properly litigated in the court trial, we affirm. We also reject appellant’s strenuous argument that we correct the district court’s refusal to conduct a Frye-Mack hearing before refusing appellant’s offer of polygraph-testing evidence.
the summer of 1996, a woman was asleep with her child in the living room of her
apartment when a man entered and placed a hand over her mouth and throat. The man told her to be quiet so as not to
wake her child, forced her to the floor, and forcibly raped her. After the man left, the woman called the
police and law enforcement obtained a sample from her for DNA testing. In 1998, when appellant was incarcerated on
another charge, officials matched his DNA to the rape.
Prior to trial, appellant waived his right to a jury for both the determination of guilt and sentencing, and proceeded with a court trial. At the sentencing hearing, following his conviction, the district court relied on evidence and witness testimony litigated at trial to determine the existence of aggravating factors (zone of privacy and presence of child) supporting the doubling of appellant’s presumptive sentence under state guidelines.
Blakely v. Washington requires that factual findings supporting an upward
durational departure from the presumptive guidelines sentence be found by a
jury, admitted by the defendant, or found by the district court with the
defendant’s consent. 542
Appellant argues that the district court’s sentence, premised on aggravating factors, violated his Sixth Amendment rights because he did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his right to testify, to have prosecution witnesses testify, to question the prosecution witnesses, and to require favorable witnesses to testify in his defense.
criminal adjudications on stipulated facts, a waiver of jury-trial rights must
address appellant’s rights to present evidence and confront state
witnesses. Minn. R. Crim. R. 26.01,
subd. 3. But appellant did not engage in
a trial on stipulated facts. Rather, he had
a full trial in this case, with a valid waiver of the only right he did not
enjoy, the determination of facts by a jury.
Because the aggravating factors were fully litigated during the court
trial, appellant had no additional rights to waive.
Appellant also alleges that the aggravating factors cannot support an upward departure because they were not specifically described in the charging document. But the aggravating factors were recited in the complaint against appellant. Moreover, there is no requirement in the law that the charging document include the aggravating factors, as long as the defendant has notice of them.
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by failing to conduct a Frye-Mack hearing to determine the admissibility of polygraph-testing evidence. He claims as well that the court improperly deprived him of his right to present a defense by excluding testimony that he took and passed a polygraph test.
It is not our prerogative to disregard State v. Opsahl, 513 N.W.2d 249, 253 (
Appellant contends that review of this issue is required
because the legislature has provided for the use of polygraph testing for sex
offenders who are on probation or conditional release.
As appellant observes, both the state and federal
constitutions afford criminal defendants a due-process right to “a meaningful
opportunity to present a complete defense.” State v.
Richards, 495 N.W.2d 187, 191 (
Appellant raises two issues in his pro se supplemental brief: He claims that the district court abused its discretion by admitting Spreigl evidence and that the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict.
A. Spreigl Evidence
A reviewing court will not reverse the district court’s admission of
evidence of other crimes or bad acts, Spreigl
evidence, unless an abuse of discretion is clearly shown. State
v. Scruggs, 421 N.W.2d 707, 715 (
Appellant argues that the district court should have excluded evidence of his prior conviction because the court used the “previous conviction to ignore the established perjury of the alleged victim.” Essentially, appellant contends that the victim was lying and that the district court improperly used his prior conviction as offsetting evidence. Appellant has failed to meet his burden to show flaws in the court’s decision to consider this evidence. Even more importantly, appellant has failed to note any statements or events in the court trial to suggest that the evidence prejudiced him. Given these circumstances, the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of appellant’s prior conviction.
B. Sufficiency of the Evidence
considering a claim of insufficient evidence, this court’s review “is limited
to a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when
viewed in a light most favorable to the conviction, was sufficient to permit the
[fact-finder] to reach the verdict which [it] did.” State
Appellant argues that the evidence in this case is insufficient to support a guilty verdict due to the victim’s “perjury” as well as the allegedly erroneous admission of the Spreigl evidence and exclusion of appellant’s polygraph results. As stated above, the district court properly admitted the Spreigl evidence and properly excluded the results of the polygraph test. This case involved a credibility determination between appellant and the victim, both of whom testified at trial. The district court believed the victim and found appellant’s testimony incredible. Taking the evidence in a light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence is sufficient to support the verdict.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.