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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Garnett v. State
Citation:332 Md. 571, 632 A.2d 797.
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
In November or December of 1990, the defendant was introduced to Erica Frazier. She was 13 years old at the time. Defendant was a 20 year old intellectually disabled man. He had an I.Q. of 52, read on the third grade level, and interacted with others socially at the level of someone 11 or 12 years of age. The two talked by telephone, and on February 28, 1991, the defendant went to the girl’s house. Erica let him into her room through her window. They engaged in sexual intercourse.
On November 19, 1991, Erica gave birth to a baby, and the defendant was the biological gather. He was charged with statutory rape due to Erica being under the age of 14 and him being at least four years older. The defendant was not allowed to introduce evidence at trial that Erica and her friends told him that Erica was 16.
The trial court held that it is a strict liability offense and consent nor the victim’s representation of her age could serve as a defense. The defendant appealed.
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