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State v. Faleta

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

May 23, 2013

STATE OF HAWAl'l, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SIAKI FALETA, Defendant-Appellant

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

Walter J. Rodby for Defendant-Appellant.

Stephen K. Tsushima Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Nakamura, C.J., Foley and Fujise, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Defendant-Appellant Siaki Faleta (Faleta) appeals from the April 11, 2012 "Judgment of Conviction and Sentence" entered in the Family Court of the First Circuit[1] (family court) convicting Faleta on two counts of Sexual Assault in the Third Degree in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes § 707-732(1)(b) (Supp. 2009).

On appeal, Faleta contends the f amily court erroneously (1) admitted statements Faleta had made, and (2) excluded evidence.

I. BACKGROUND

On March 17, 2010, Plaintiff-Appellee State of Hawai'i (State) charged Faleta with two counts of sexual assault in the third degree. On July 13, 2011, Faleta filed a motion to suppress self-incriminating statements he had made to a detective during a custodial interrogation at the Honolulu Police Department (HPD). Faleta argued he was unable to voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waive his right to remain silent and his right to counsel.

The family court conducted a hearing on Faleta's motion on December 7 and December 9, 2011. The parties presented testimony from Faleta, Faleta's first and second wives, and the detective who had interviewed Faleta and had advised Faleta of his rights. The family court denied Faleta's motion, finding Faleta had a sufficient understanding of the English language and had validly waived his rights.

On January 11, 2012, Faleta filed a notice of intent indicating he intended to introduce evidence that the complaining witness's sister (Sister) had falsified sexual assault allegations against Faleta (not the allegations in the instant case.) The State filed a motion in limine on January 17, 2012, seeking to exclude "any evidence relating to any prior bad acts of any of the State's witnesses or to the sexual history of the complaining witness[.]" The family court granted the State's motion in limine on January 23, 2012, stating it was "exclud[ing] any evidence concerning any sexual molestation investigation involving [Sister] [.]"

On January 30, 2012, after trial and deliberations, the jury found Faleta guilty as charged. On May 10, 2012, Faleta filed a timely notice of appeal from the judgment entered against him.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

I. Waiver of Rights

Discussing the constitutional protections afforded defendants by the United States Supreme Court's decision in Miranda v. Arizona., 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 ...


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