Archive | Sufficiency of the evidence

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State v. Lerman

State v. Lerman, 2018 MT 5 (Jan. 9, 2018) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the state presented sufficient evidence to prove the elements of penetration and force in conviction for sexual intercourse without consent.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Kelsey Stoker went to Randall Lerman, a licensed massage therapist in Dillon, for four appointments to help alleviate lower back pain. During her appointments, Stoker left on her undergarments, which included a cap-sleeved undershirt and spandex shorts that went almost to her knees.

At the fourth appointment, Lerman pulled her shorts down to her knees, and pulled her top down, exposing her breasts. He massaged her breasts and nipples, her buttocks, the back of her thighs, and her groin. He then inserted his fingers into Stoker’s vagina, at which point she told him to stop.…

State v. Colburn

State v. Colburn, 2016 MT 246 (Oct. 4, 2016) (Rice, J.; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (5-2, aff’d)

Issue: Whether sufficient evidence supported Colburn’s convictions of attempted sexual abuse of children.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Colburn was a houseguest of his supervisor at the youth center/video store where he volunteered, staying in her converted garage. His supervisor noticed that someone had entered the term “preteen pussy” into a search engine on the video store computer. She texted Colburn to ask if she could use his person computer in the converted garage. He consented, and she found similar terms on that computer. She reported her findings to the police chief, who obtained and executed a search warrant of the garage, removing Colburn’s computer.…

McColl v. Lang

McColl v. Lang, 2016 MT 255 (Oct. 11, 2016) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in granting Lang’s motion to exclude certain evidence, and (2) whether the district court abused its discretion in denying McColl’s motion to exclude the testimony of Lang’s expert witness.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) no.


Facts: Lang is a licensed naturopathic physician. McColl saw Lang in 2012 and discussed a blemish on her nose that she wished to remove. A month later, McColl returned to Lang’s office where he applied black salve, an escharotic agent, to the blemish on McColl’s nose. Lang sent her home with instructions to return. A few days later, McColl returned and Lang reapplied black salve.…