People v. Soto

Full title: The People of the State of New York, respondent, v. Julio Soto, appellant.

Court: SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department

Date published: Nov 29, 2017

Facts

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Putnam County (Reitz, J.), rendered May 5, 2015, convicting him of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree (two counts), rape in the third degree, criminal sexual act in the third degree, and forcible touching, upon a jury verdict, and sentencing him to determinate terms of imprisonment of 25 years plus 20 years of postrelease supervision on the conviction of rape in the first degree, 25 years plus 20 years of postrelease supervision on the conviction of criminal sexual act in the first degree, 7 years plus 10 years of postrelease supervision on each conviction of sexual abuse in the first degree, 4 years plus 10 years of postrelease supervision on the conviction of rape in the third degree, and 4 years plus 10 years of postrelease supervision on the conviction of criminal sexual act in the third degree, and a definite term of imprisonment of 1 year on the conviction of forcible touching, with the sentences on the convictions of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, and one count of sexual abuse in the first degree to run consecutively to each other, and the remaining sentences to run concurrently.

Issue

Decision

The defendant’s contention that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his conviction of rape in the first degree is unpreserved for appellate review. The defendant’s testimony established sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, as per Penal Law §§ 130.35 [1]; 130.00 [8]; and People v Hodges. The County Court lawfully imposed consecutive sentences of imprisonment on the convictions of rape in the first degree and criminal sexual act in the first degree, as they were separate and distinct acts. The defendant failed to preserve for appellate review his contention that the sentence imposed improperly penalized him for exercising his right to trial. The County Court relied on the appropriate factors, including the nature of the crime, the defendant’s failure to accept responsibility or show remorse, and the safety of the community. However, the sentence imposed was excessive to the extent indicated herein.

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