Motion Dismissed: Case Regarding Rape Accusations to Move Forward

by Maryjo Nuñez

A West Sacramento man faces trial after allegedly having sexual relations with two underage girls as the court reviewed a motion to dismiss, which was ultimately denied.

The trial of Percy Acquaye awaits as the Penal Code section 995 motion was heard in Department 13 on July 2, 2018, Judge Paul Richardson presiding. As of now, Mr. Acquaye is accused with multiple counts of sexual assault and a felony charge of statutory rape. Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt represents Mr. Acquaye, while Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens represents the People.

Following the preliminary hearing alleging sexual assault against two minors—known as “TL” and “PA”— by Mr. Acquaye, the court decided to move the case forward for trial. However, the defense then submitted the motion to dismiss all or some of the charges. The hearing for this motion focused substantially on a reassessment of the preliminary hearing, using the transcript from the prelim. The defendant is accused of the rapes of TL and PA, and one of the alleged victims remains under the guardianship of Mr. Acquaye. TL is the defendant’s niece, and PA is his daughter.

The witness for the People reported that the minors were subjected to multiple occurrences of unsolicited sexual actions, so the defendant’s guardianship of them was questioned. However, as the People’s witness continued, such actions were plainly described as “sex,” spurring the defense to consider the testimony itself, not the guardianship, as questionable and in need of further clarification, hence the 995 hearing.

According to the transcript from the preliminary hearing, the incident in question consisted of Mr. Acquaye having approached TL, who in response retorted, “No.” This was by no means the only such encounter nor was it the initial one; however, this incident certainly proves distressing on its own.

Upon the refusal by TL, Mr. Acquaye then approached PA, his daughter, and TL courageously offered herself to save PA from rape. In the view of the defense, this action created consent, therefore absolving Mr. Acquaye of rape in this incident. However, the court ruled that the previous “No” statement made by TL removed any consideration for possible consent, substantiating this rape accusation.

In addition, the defense attempted to disprove any finding of duress, claiming duress as unfeasible and citing violence as the main grounds for duress. The defense also alluded to TL’s approaching Mr. Acquaye, to divert him from PA, as evidence disproving duress. However, since the court preserved its view on the occurrence as rape, the court also refused to acknowledge there was a lack of duress, instead stating that duress was indeed present.

Furthermore, because of the familial relationship that Mr. Acquaye possesses with both TL and PA, along with significant differences in age between Mr. Acquaye, being a man in his forties, and TL and PA, minors who are not even teenagers, the court did in fact find duress to be satisfied in four of the several counts, given these conditions.

Appertaining to the People’s witness plainly describing the sexual actions committed by Mr. Acquaye as sex, the court also ruled that any indication of a sexual act referenced in the preliminary hearing will be deemed as sexual intercourse, and presented with these findings. The court therefore set aside the 995 motion, and the trial of Mr. Acquaye will proceed.


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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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8 Comments

  1. Jim Hoch

    “A West Sacramento man anticipates trial since he allegedly possessed sexual relations with two underage girls as the Court reviewed a motion which they ultimately dismissed.”

     

    Could you make a statement less clear? Who do you know what he “anticipates” unless you asked him? If the court “ultimately dismissed” a motion why would there be a trial? How do you “possess” sexual relations? Just terrible writing. Read Hemingway.

    1. Highbeam

      Jim, I can only edit and proof one article at a time, so please refresh the page for this one in about 20 minutes. Remember, all articles are posted before I have access to them, and I am a lowly volunteer!

      cathy a

      1. Jim Hoch

        Hi Cathy, Please do not interpret this as a criticism of you. I will note that proofing/editing takes place prior to publication in some old fashioned media.

        I will stand by my advice to read Hemingway.

         

        1. Highbeam

          H, J spoke correctly for me. Thank you for the thought, H, I appreciate it greatly.

          J, point noted about alternative editing procedure … so far won’t work for our arrangement. Hemingway, great advice.

  2. Jim Hoch

    “A West Sacramento man anticipates trial since he allegedly possessed sexual relations with two underage girls as the Court reviewed a motion which they ultimately dismissed.”

    Becomes

    “A West Sacramento man faces trial after allegedly having sexual relations with two underage girls as the court reviewed a motion to dismiss, which was ultimately denied”

    Thanks Cathy, like magic.

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