Submitted: June 13, 2014
Abigail R. Layton, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Dover, Delaware for the State of Delaware.
William J. Rhodunda, Jr., Esquire of Rhodunda & Williams, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware for Defendant.
Terry Adgate ("Defendant") has been charged with four sexual offenses stemming from incidents, three of which are alleged to have occurred between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1993; and the fourth between April 1, 1996 and July 1, 1996. The allegations bringing about all charges are asserted by Defendant's former stepdaughter ("Claxton").
Because 11 Del. Code § 205, providing for no limitation on the time of filing these actions, applies, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.
Because the indictment, together with the affidavit of probable cause, provides legally sufficient information of the specific crimes being alleged, against Defendant, the Motion for Bill of Particulars is DENIED.
Because the trial elements of the crimes alleged against Defendant will necessarily entail issues of credibility, and because a prior police investigation dismissing similar claims could reflect upon credibility, the absence of reports, thereof, satisfy Deberry and progeny requirements. Hence, Defendant's Motion for a Deberry instruction is GRANTED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
Defendant has been charged with three counts of unlawful sexual penetration third degree occurring between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1993, and one count of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse second degree occurring between April 1, 1996 and July 1, 1996. The allegations leading to those charges have been asserted by Claxton.
Over twenty years prior to these allegations, Claxton evidently reported similar claims to the police. Those reports were made sometime in 1985 to 1987, when Claxton was 10 to 12 years old. A police investigation apparently was conducted, though Defendant was never arrested for or charged with any offense. According to the State, no police documentation exists relative to that incident.
Claxton made a second report of sexual abuse by Defendant on October 10, 2013. In this disclosure, she reported that Defendant sexually abused her between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1993. Claxton also reported that Defendant attempted to assault her sexually between April 1, 1996 and July 1, 1996. When Defendant asked the State for the earlier, unpursued materials, the State's counsel refused. However, the State provided the report, which detailed the investigation of the instant charges, on March 6, 2014.
From the late 1980s until the mid-1990s, Claxton, who was a minor during a portion of this period, lived with Defendant. Once she became an adult, both she and her husband continued to live with ...