State v. Haskins, 5505

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Citation289 P. 609,49 Idaho 384
Docket Number5505
PartiesSTATE, Respondent, v. WILLIAM HASKINS, Appellant
Decision Date22 May 1930


1. Testimony of raped child's mother held sufficient to corroborate identification by child.

2. The propriety of an instruction cannot be considered alone, but must be read and considered together with all the instructions.

APPEAL from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, for Bannock County. Hon. Robert M. Terrell, Judge.

Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction of rape. Affirmed.


C. M Jeffery, for Appellant.

A judgment of conviction of rape based upon the testimony of the prosecutrix alone cannot be sustained in any event unless circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense are clearly corroborative of her statements. (State v Short, 39 Idaho 446, 228 P. 274; State v. Bowker, 40 Idaho 74, 231 P. 706; State v. Hines, 43 Idaho 713, 254 P. 217; State v. Larsen, 44 Idaho 270, 256 P. 107; State v. Smith, 46 Idaho 8, 265 P. 666)

Corroborative evidence, whether consisting of facts or admissions, must be of such character as tends to prove the guilt of the accused by connecting him with the commission of the crime. (State v. Alva, 18 N.M. 143, 134 P. 209.)

A conviction will not be permitted to stand where corroboration merely shows opportunity to commit the crime. (State v. Short, supra; State v. Bowker, supra.)

W. D. Gillis, Attorney General, and Fred J. Babcock, Assistant Attorney General, for Respondent.

The sufficiency of the corroborating evidence is for the jury. Whether there is any corroborative evidence tending to connect the defendant with the commission of the crime is a question for the court. (22 R. C. L. 1225; State v. Vail, 47 Idaho 354, 275 P. 578; State v. Hines, 43 Idaho 713, 254 P. 217; State v. Mason, 41 Idaho 506, 239 P. 733; People v. Fraysier, 36 Cal.App. 579, 172 P. 1126.)

MCNAUGHTON, J. Givens, C. J., and Budge, Lee and Varian, JJ., concur.



The defendant is charged with statutory rape upon a child eight years of age. At the trial he was found guilty by the jury. Upon this appeal in his specifications of error appellant asks reversal on the grounds of insufficiency of the evidence on the claim that the story of the child is improbable and incredible. Also it is claimed that as a matter of law the child's testimony is insufficiently corroborated in fixing the perpetration of the crime upon the defendant, error in refusing an advisory instruction of acquittal, and in giving the seventh instruction.

Always a recital of the facts in these cases seems an improbable, incredible story. This is so because it is difficult for the ordinary man to comprehend the ways of the sexual pervert. However, the law must not ignore the fact that these crimes are committed. They are committed stealthily. Direct corroborating proof of the specific act is often quite impossible.

That the crime in this case was committed is established quite sufficiently by the testimony of the doctor who examined the child the day following its commission. All that remained after his corroborating testimony was to unquestionably fix that guilt upon the proper person.

Owing to the enormity of the charge made and the seriousness of the penalty inflicted we have with great care examined the record and considered every detail of the evidence. A recital of the testimony would serve no useful purpose. Suffice it to say we find the testimony of the child, for one of her age, to be simple, straightforward and clear. Upon a careful cross-examination, it is consistent with all the facts and circumstances developed. There is not a word or a circumstance in the...

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3 cases
  • State v. Byers, 13142
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 1 Aprile 1981
    ...1238 (1978); State v. Elsen, 68 Idaho 50, 187 P.2d 976 (1947); State v. Mason, 41 Idaho 506, 239 P. 733 (1925). See State v. Haskins, 49 Idaho 384, 289 P. 609 (1930); State v. Andrus, 29 Idaho 1, 156 P. 421 (1916). As stated in State v. Mason, supra: "We think what is meant by the rule 'the......
  • State v. Linebarger, 7613
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 23 Aprile 1951
    ...v. Alvord, 47 Idaho 162, 272 P. 1010; State v. Vail, 47 Idaho 354, 275 P. 578; State v. Thomas, 47 Idaho 760, 278 P. 773; State v. Haskins, 49 Idaho 384, 289 P. 609; State v. Flitton, 52 Idaho 374, 15 P.2d 397; State v. Gailey, 69 Idaho 146, 204 P.2d 254; Sutton v. People, 145 Ill. 279, 34 ......
  • State v. Tisdel
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 25 Marzo 1980
    ...sufficient, that some independent fact or circumstance should be needed to corroborate the victim's testimony. In State v. Haskins, 49 Idaho 384, 386, 289 P. 609, 609 (1930), this Court held that "the testimony of the mother in calling for her children and finding this one alone away with t......

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