Convicted of horrible sex crimes, Filberto Morales Matus is presently serving a prison sentence in Ironwood State Prison at Blythe, but he believes he's incarcerated because of a mistake.
R. Clayton Seaman, Jr,, a lawyer representing Matus argues that veteran Superior Court Judge Carla M. Singer botched her instructions to jury by failing to read them a provision about how to evaluate conflicting evidence.
Seaman and Matus are right.
This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana ruled that Singer failed to give the proper instructions.
But Matus isn't jumping for joy.
The justices--Richard D. Fybel, Kathleen E. O'Leary and William W. Bedsworth--also opined that the error wasn't prejudicial to the defense.
Upshot: Matus, 23, will continue to serve his 26-year prison sentence, which is probably terrific news for one of his cousins. During a 10-month period in 2006 and 2007, he repeatedly fondled, raped, sodomized and ejaculated into the minor's mouth. The unconscionable abuse ended one day when his aunt found him molesting her daughter and contacted authorities.
Wondering about Matus' trial defense?
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The fifth grade girl wouldn't stop pulling down his pants and demanding sex when they were alone, he claimed.
An Orange County jury didn't buy it. They convicted him on eight felony charges and agreed with prosecutors in the District Attorney's office that he was guilty of committing an enhancement involving prolonged sexual conduct with a minor.
Listen up, dudes: It is against the law for an adult to have sex with a minor. If you think you can cleverly claim that the kid initiated the sex, that will never, ever work (unless you are a female molester). By state law, a child can't consent to sexual relations.