CB US v. Short - Is a mistake in fact a defense for Mr....

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United States v. Short 4 U.S.M.C.A. 437 (1954) Fact: Procedural Facts: General Court-Martial in Japan. Appellate court. Operative Facts: Two conflicting tales of an incident, of an event that took place in Tokyo, Japan. Two Japanese girls (Yayoi Tomobe, and Tokiko Okano) story was: They were crossing the street, and was approached by two foreigners that were intoxicated. Being scared, they ran. One tripped over a rock, and was being talked to in English. Then was then pulled to the latrine, and was pushed in. The accused fondled her, as the girl was trying her best to resist and her friend got help from a nearby shop to save her. The two military personal’s story: They did drink, saw two girls and thought they were prostitutes. He negotiated with them about fee’s, and she brought him to a latrine. After she helped him fondle her, the cop opened up the latrine and he tried to protect the girl by saying “it’s okay” in Japanese. Issue: Broad Question: Narrow Question:
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Unformatted text preview: Is a mistake in fact a defense for Mr. Short? Holding: Yes, but it is not enough. Rule: The mistake in fact has to be backed up with “reasonable” circumstances for one to believe the mistaken fact. Rational: Mr. Short’s personal evaluation of the circumstances is but one factor to be considered by the court; it is not conclusive. When consent is in issue, the fact that it was or was not given is a question of fact for the court. It must determine whether the woman’s conduct was such as to lead the accused to believe she had consented to his acts. Synthesis: Dissent/Concurrences: The Judge Brosman said that, because the accused was charged with assault with the intent to rape, the mistake in fact is a defense for intent. So without that evidence being submitted, how can it be fair to be charged with the intent to rape, when he had a defense for the intent. If he did rape, then the intent factor is lowered significantly....
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2011 for the course CRIM LAW 110 taught by Professor Wade during the Spring '11 term at California Western School of Law.

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