State v. Romano

114 Haw. 1, 155 P.3d 1102 (2007)

 

RULE:

Matters of credibility and the weight of the evidence and the inferences to be drawn are for the fact finder.

FACTS:

Defendant was convicted for a prostitution offense after offering sexual acts to an undercover police officer for a fee. Defendant argued, inter alia, that the evidence was insufficient to sustain her conviction.

ISSUE:

Was the prosecution able to prove by substantial evidence that the defendant agreed to engage in sexual contact for a fee?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The evidence demonstrated that defendant agreed to give an undercover police officer a "handjob" for a fee of $ 20. The officer confirmed with defendant that the charge for the massage "out-call" was $ 100. The officer then asked whether "that cost extra," and according to the officer, defendant answered, "add $ 20." The officer testified that he confirmed, "oh, $ 20 for handjob," and defendant replied, "yes." That testimony indicated that the $ 20 added fee was for the handjob. Defendant also testified that she knew that the term "handjob" could mean assisted masturbation. The meaning of "sexual contact" in Haw. Rev. Stat. § 712-1200(1) included "any touching of the sexual parts of a person." Plainly, the reference to "hand" in the term "handjob" connoted physical contact with genitals. Hence, considered in the strongest light for the prosecution, substantial evidence was adduced that enabled a person of reasonable caution to conclude that defendant agreed to engage in sexual contact with the officer for a fee.

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