People v. Spanke

Citation254 Mich. App. 642,658 N.W.2d 504
Decision Date26 March 2003
Docket NumberDocket No. 232089.
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Randolph John SPANKE, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan (US)

658 N.W.2d 504
254 Mich.
App. 642

PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Randolph John SPANKE, Defendant-Appellant

Docket No. 232089.

Court of Appeals of Michigan.

Submitted September 11, 2002, at Detroit.

Decided January 3, 2003, at 9:15 a.m.

Released for Publication March 26, 2003.

658 N.W.2d 506
Jennifer M. Granholm, Attorney General, Thomas L. Casey, Solicitor General, Peter R. George, Prosecuting Attorney, and Timothy K. Morris, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for the people

Kenneth M. Lord, Port Huron, for the defendant.


658 N.W.2d 505

Defendant appeals as of right his conviction after a jury trial of one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC II), M.C.L. § 750.520c(1)(a) (sexual contact with a person under thirteen years of age), and two counts of indecent exposure, M.C.L. § 750.335a. Defendant was sentenced to fifteen months' to fifteen years' imprisonment for the CSC II conviction, and one year for each of the indecent exposure convictions, all sentences to be served concurrently. We affirm, but remand for correction of the presentence investigation report (PSIR).

Defendant first argues on appeal that the trial court abused its discretion in permitting the prosecution to introduce extrinsic rebuttal evidence that he had inappropriately touched the genitals of a minor boy while they were in a swimming pool. We disagree. The trial court's decision to admit or exclude evidence is generally reviewed for an abuse of discretion. People v. Lukity, 460 Mich. 484, 488, 596 N.W.2d 607 (1999). Here, however, the defendant did not object to this testimony at trial. Accordingly, we review the record to determine whether plain error occurred that affected defendant's substantial rights. People v. Carines, 460 Mich. 750, 763-764, 774, 597 N.W.2d 130 (1999).

The admission of the testimony did not result in plain error affecting defendant's substantial rights. Defendant testified on direct examination that in his capacity as a mentor he took several boys to swim in swimming pools and that he had never inappropriately touched any of them. On cross-examination, defendant was asked if he specifically denied inappropriately touching a specific boy. In response to defendant's testimony reiterating his denial in that specific instance, the prosecution introduced testimony from a witness who

658 N.W.2d 507
testified he observed defendant touch the specific boy inappropriately

Although MRE 608(b) generally prohibits impeachment of a witness by extrinsic evidence regarding collateral, irrelevant, or immaterial matters, a party may introduce rebuttal evidence to contradict the answers elicited from a witness on cross-examination regarding matters germane to the issue if the rebuttal evidence is narrowly focused on refuting the witness' statements. People v. Vasher, 449 Mich. 494, 504, 537 N.W.2d 168 (1995). The testimony challenged by defendant fits within this narrow exception and therefore it was not plain error to admit it. Furthermore, defendant makes no argument that admitting the testimony affected his substantial rights, thereby failing to carry his burden of establishing that it was more probable than not that the alleged error affected the outcome of the trial. Lukity, supra at 496, 596 N.W.2d 607. Therefore, reversal on this ground is not warranted.

Defendant also urges this Court to remand his case for resentencing on the basis of an alleged scoring error regarding offense variable (OV) 8, M.C.L.§ 777.38(1)(a), as well as the sentencing court's alleged failure to address several errors in the PSIR. Although we agree that certain factual errors in the PSIR require correction, our review of the record revealed no errors requiring resentencing.

Defendant contends that the trial court should not have scored fifteen points under OV 8. Although he admits that he moved the victims to his home, he contends that the movement was voluntary, was not forceful, and was too remote from the commission of the crime to constitute asportation within the meaning of the sentencing guidelines.

Whether the term asportation as used in M.C.L. § 777.38(1)(a) contemplates movement by force is a matter of statutory interpretation and is therefore a question of law that we review de novo. Etefia v. Credit Technologies, Inc., 245 Mich.App. 466, 469, 628 N.W.2d 577 (2001), citing Oakland Co. Bd. of Co. Rd. Comm'rs v. Michigan Prop & Cas. Guaranty Ass'n, 456 Mich. 590, 610, 575 N.W.2d 751 (1998); In re S R, 229 Mich.App. 310, 314, 581 N.W.2d 291 (1998).

As our Supreme Court stated in Macomb Co. Prosecutor v. Murphy, 464 Mich. 149, 153, 627 N.W.2d 247 (2001):
"In considering a question of statutory construction, this Court begins by examining the language of the statute. We read the statutory language in context to determine whether ambiguity exists. If the language is unambiguous, judicial construction is precluded. We enforce an unambiguous statute as written. Where ambiguity exists, however, this Court seeks to effectuate the Legislature's intent through a reasonable construction, considering the purpose of the statute and

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    ...that the information is irrelevant and the defendant is entitled to have the information stricken from the report. People v. Spanke, 254 Mich.App. 642, 649, 658 N.W.2d 504 (2003). The failure to strike disregarded information can be harmless error. People v. Fisher, 442 Mich. 560, 567 n. 4,......
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    ...matters germane to the issue if the rebuttal evidence is narrowly focused on refuting the witness' statements." People v. Spanke, 254 Mich.App. 642, 644-645, 658 N.W.2d 504 (2003); see also People v. Vasher, 449 Mich. 494, 537 N.W.2d 168 (1995).In the instant case, defendant argues that the......
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