Judicial Factfinding, Multiple Sex Offense Convictions and Consecutive Sentences
Over a period of 10 months, Edgar Sandoval Catarino sexually abused his 9-year old cousin on multiple occasions. He was charged with 8 counts of forcible lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 (Penal Code §288(a)) . Each charge alleged an identical range of dates during which these offenses may have occurred. A jury subsequently convicted him on 6 of the counts and the verdict also included the same range of dates alleged on each count, but did not further specify on what dates each of the crimes took place. At sentencing, the court found that each conviction occurred on separate occasions and sentenced him to full, consecutive terms for each pursuant to Penal Code section 667.6(d). Catarino argued that because the jury did not make specific findings that each of his convictions constituted separate incidents occurring on separate occasions, it violated his Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. The California Supreme Court rejected this argument and upheld his full, consecutive sentences this morning in People v. Catarino (S271828) Continue reading . . .