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160060 - People v Juan Martinez, III

The People of the State of Michigan,


Mark Sanford





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Berrien – Pasula, A.)


Juan Martinez, III,


John Moritz





The sixteen-year-old complainant accused the defendant, her mother’s boyfriend, of touching her breasts and digitally penetrating her.  The defendant sought to admit evidence that the complainant had threatened to falsely accuse her biological father of touching her.  The prosecution filed a motion in limine to exclude the evidence, arguing that it was inadmissible hearsay.  The trial court granted the prosecution’s motion, agreeing that the evidence was inadmissible hearsay.  The case went to trial and the defendant was convicted of third-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  The Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 unpublished opinion, affirmed the defendant’s convictions.  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the application to address:  (1) whether the trial court erred by granting the prosecution’s motion in limine to bar the defendant from presenting evidence of an alleged prior threat by the complainant to report an assault; and (2) if so, whether the error was prejudicial.​