People v. Bales, Cr. 1289

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtSHEPARD
Citation11 Cal.Rptr. 639,189 Cal.App.2d 694
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Emery LaVerne BALES, Defendant and Appellant.
Decision Date03 March 1961
Docket NumberCr. 1289

Page 639

11 Cal.Rptr. 639
189 Cal.App.2d 694
PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent,
Emery LaVerne BALES, Defendant and Appellant.
Cr. 1289.
District Court of Appeal, Fourth District, California.
March 3, 1961.
Hearing Denied May 1, 1961.

Page 641

[189 Cal.App.2d 698] Emery LaVerne Bales, in pro. per.

Russel B. Henry, Tulare, for appellant.

Stanley Mosk, Atty. Gen., and S. Clark Moore, Deputy Atty. Gen., for respondent.

SHEPARD, Justice.

This is an appeal from judgments of conviction rendered pursuant to verdicts of guilty by a jury on separate counts of incest, rape, sodomy, two counts of sex perversion, and from the order denying a motion for a new trial.

The charge contained in each of the various counts in as follows, to-wit: Count one, incest; count two, forcible rape; both alleged to have been committed on defendant's daughter, Marilee Bales, on or about September 21, 1956; count three, sodomy, committed on defendant's stepdaughter, Jeannette Bales, on or about June 21, 1957; count four, forcible sex perversion, committed on said Jeannette Bales on or about June 24, 1957; count five, forcible sex perversion committed on Virginia Bales, defendant's wife, on or about June 23, 1958. The jury returned a verdict of guilty as to each of the five counts, but found that as to counts four and five that the acts were not accompanied by means of force or fear.

Viewing the evidence, as we must, in the light most favorable to the judgment (People v. Linden, 185 Cal.App.2d 664, 8 Cal.Rptr. 635 and authorities there cited), the record before us shows the facts, in substance, to be as follows: Defendant married Virginia in 1937. She then had, by another man, a daughter, Jeannette, a little less than a year old. In 1939 the family moved to Nine Mile Canyon in a remote mountain area of southeastern Tulare County nine or ten miles from the nearest tlephone, where they resided ever since until the arrest of defendant in 1958. For a living they operated a small store, some mining claims, and occasionally rented cabins to hunters and fishermen. It appears that the [189 Cal.App.2d 699] daughter, Marilee, was born in 1939, a son, John Thomas, in 1941, a daughter, Mary, in 1942, and a son, Thomas John, in 1943. The record is replete with evidence that throughout the lives of these children, defendant cursed, slapped, brutally whipped, struck with his fists, kicked, threatened with dire bodily harm and even death through the use of dynamite or guns, all of the children and the wife, and constantly kept the entire family in an abject state of subjection and terror. None of the children had ever been to school prior to defendant's arrest in 1958.

As to the charges contained in counts one and two, the evidence, with ample corroboration from other members of the family, shows that through a combination of personal physical fear, threats to kill the entire family, brow-beating and force, defendant accomplished an act of sexual intercourse with the daughter, Marilee Bales, then 16 years of age, against her will, at their home, on or about September 21, 1956. The other children saw part or all of his acts in this respect, heard his demands, heard Marilee's refusals and screams of protest and pain, but were apparently too much in fear of defendant to interfere, although at one point Jeannette asked one of the boys to get a gun so she could kill defendant. Unfortunately for Marilee, Jeannette's determination to do this did not crystallize into action. This attack occurred while the mother, Virginia, was in the hospital. Many insistent approaches had been made toward Marilee before the final attack occurred.

Page 642

As to the charges contained in counts three and four, the evidence amply shows that defendant commenced to sexually molest Jeannette by the time she was four years old; that he was compelling her to engage in acts of sexual perversion and was attempting sexual acts and sodomy on her from the time she was 13; that he had frequent sexual intercourse with her after she was 16, and took her to bed regularly with him after she was 18, treating her from that date on as his common-law wife. The particular act of sodomy charged in count three, and the act of sexual perversion charged in count four, were accomplished within full sight of the two boys, who had been sent away by defendant but who came back to see what was happening. Jeannette testified she was forced to consent, through threats and fear. This was partially corroborated by the boys.

As to the charge contained in count five, the evidence presents not only the full testimony of the wife, Virginia, relating to this particular act, and to numerous other acts of like character, but also full corroboration by the children.

[189 Cal.App.2d 700] Defendant was found guilty on all five counts, on November 21, 1958. Thereafter proceedings were had to declare defendant a sexual psychopath. The proceedings in the criminal case were then suspended and defendant was ultimately committed to the State Hospital at Atascadero for observation and treatment as a sexual psychopath. August 6, 1959, defendant moved for an order terminating suspension of criminal proceedings and for return to the court from the State Hospital for further proceedings in the criminal case. Defendant's motion was granted. He then moved for a new trial. The motion was denied, and he was sentenced to state prison for the term prescribed by law, the sentences to run concurrently as to counts one, two, three and five, and the sentence on count four to run consecutive to the sentence on the other counts.

Defendant filed, in propria persona, a document indicating his desire to appeal. We will treat it as a sufficient notice of appeal in order that the matter may be dealt with on the merits.

Sufficiency of the Evidence

Defendant complains there was insufficient evidence to justify the conviction. Without recounting further the extensive, sordid details of the evidence than those hereinbefore related, suffice it to say that the acts complained of were all testified to in complete detail by the respective victims in each case, and were fully corroborated by some or all other members of the family. In addition, instances of cruelty to members of the family, their fear of him, and of his sexual improprieties toward the victims on other occasions was given by several witnesses not members of the family.

The evidence shown by the record is not only legally sufficient, it is overwhelmingly convincing. We find no merit whatever in defendant's claim.

Evidence of other Acts

Defendant complains that the court erroneously admitted evidence of other unnatural sexual acts by defendant with...

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    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 20 Septiembre 1963
    ...during the week of September 23, 1963. It is the conviction which is most severely punishable that is to be sustained (People v. Bales, 189 Cal.App.2d 694, 705, 11 Cal.Rptr. 639; People v. Griffin, 209 Cal.App.2d 125, 130, 25 Cal.Rptr. 667), while the other counts which fall within § 654 ar......
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    • California Court of Appeals
    • 26 Junio 1972 p. 997, 83 Cal.Rptr. 246. See also People v. Greer (1947) 30 Cal.2d 589, 600--601 and 604, 184 P.2d 512; People v. Bales (1961) 189 Cal.App.2d 694, 704--705, 11 Cal.Rptr. 639; and People v. Chapman (1947) 81 Cal.App.2d 857, 863--866, 185 P.2d [26 Cal.App.3d 359] Moreover the amendments t......
  • People v. Memro, S004770
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 30 Noviembre 1995
    ...the jury could infer that he had a sexual attraction to young boys and intended to act on that attraction. (See People v. Bales (1961) 189 Cal.App.2d 694, 701, 11 Cal.Rptr. 639 [photograph of molestation victim in the nude admissible to show "lewd intent."].) The photographs of young boys w......
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    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 4 Febrero 2019
    ...166, 548 P.2d 366 ( Guerrero ); People v. Ghent, supra , 90 Cal.App.3d 944, 955-956, 958, 153 Cal.Rptr. 720; People v. Bales (1961) 189 Cal.App.2d 694, 701, 11 Cal.Rptr. 639.) As the People observe, the presence of any of these factors would have made the evidence all the more damaging to d......
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