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Date: 09.02.2018

Speak, Lawyers, for Me (1991)

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L.A. Law/Speak, Lawyers, For Me - The TV IV

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. Argued September 5, Defendant Bruce Hutchinson appeals his conviction and sentence on two counts of gross sexual misconduct, A M. On appeal of his sentence, Hutchinson argues that the sentencing justice based his sentence on improper factors.

We reject all of his contentions.

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Hutchinson was convicted on two counts of gross sexual misconduct for incidents that occurred in Sanford in and involved two children, aged 10 and 5 at the time. By uncontroverted evidence at trial, the victims had been sexually abused over a period of years. Both girls had named as perpetrators three male family members, including defendant and his nephew Jimmy.

Appeal of Conviction A. Admissibility of Police Station Statements Acting on the basis of a warrant, Sanford police officers arrested defendant and transported him to the Sanford Police Department. Once at the police station, the officers informed defendant of the charges against him and Detective Amy Loranger interviewed him.

Defendant was alone with Loranger during the interview. He was not handcuffed and sat three to four feet away from her. Loranger made no promises or threats to defendant, read him his rights as required under Miranda v.

Loranger provided examples and asked defendant to repeat to her what each particular right meant; after one silent response she rephrased its meaning. At the end of her explanation, Loranger asked defendant, "Do you understand all of your rights? Defendant denied that he had ever engaged either victim in sexual activity, denied any knowledge of sexual abuse of the girls, and stated that he did not know why either girl would so accuse him.

Defendant was then taken to a processing room where at least one police officer stayed with him at all times. The police officers could not recall anything being said to defendant about a polygraph. Both officers agreed that the only thing of substance said to defendant regarding the charges against him was that he should tell the truth because "people generally feel better if they tell the truth. At the suppression hearing defendant testified that he made the statements because he "figured it might get [him] off or something.

We find no error. At the station the police did not subject defendant to threats or coercion. In fact, defendant twice testified that the police officers were "nice," did not seem angry, and that he was not nervous.

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Moreover, both at the suppression hearing and at trial defendant testified that he understood that he was not required to speak. We have recently said: The precise question is whether a statement made for an illogical reason requires a finding of involuntariness. The answer is no.

A wrong conclusion does not imply that no thought process occurred. To be voluntary, a decision need not be wise. The court discussed at length why it found that at the time of his statements defendant fully understood that he did not have to speak and chose to waive that right. The court also found that "all the other rights were not only given according to Miranda, but were given three different ways and explained in great detail and waived.

Denial of Access to DHS Records Defendant filed a pretrial motion to compel discovery of "[c]opies of all reports connected with all activities and protective custody cases being maintained by the State Department of Human Services relative to the alleged victims in this case.

Therefore, this DHS file will remain sealed and will not be shown to either the State or the Defense. DHS records are made confidential by 22 M. After an in camera inspection, the trial court had also denied that motion. Defendant fails to establish any ground for vacating his conviction. Appeal of Sentence Defendant challenges his sentence on three different grounds. First, he argues that the sentencing court improperly considered a presentence investigation report and forensic evaluation that contained references to the DHS records that were previously sealed.

The State correctly notes that those records, once sealed, remained in control of the court and could not have been reviewed by anyone in preparing a presentence report. Defendant has not presented any basis for us to conclude otherwise. Likewise, on review of sentence this court "is authorized to consider Moreover, "[a] sentencing justice is accorded wide discretion when determining what sources and types of information he will consider when imposing sentence Finally, defendant argues that it was error for the court to inquire into the sentence imposed on his nephew, Jimmy Hutchinson.

Jimmy Hutchinson was, however, a related perpetrator convicted for sexually abusing the same victims. In fact, defendant and Jimmy had at times participated jointly in abusing the victims. For purposes of uniformity of sentence, it was proper that the sentencing justice be informed of the sentence another perpetrator had received.