United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART,
DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1 (PRIOR ACTS EVIDENCE)
(ECF NO. 23)
Gillmor District Judge.
April 4, 2019, Defendant James Dean Kalani Goeas was indicted
under 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). He is charged with one count
of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty.
to Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b), the Government notified
Defendant that it intends to introduce evidence of five prior
acts at trial. Defendant's voluntary
post-Miranda statement after his arrest in the
current case is the source of the Government's
Government intends to introduce Acts One, Two, and Five at
trial as 404(b) prior acts evidence. The Government seeks to
introduce evidence of these prior acts to show
Defendant's motivation, intent, plan, knowledge, and lack
of mistake in committing the charged conduct.
Government indicates that it will not introduce Acts Three
and Four as evidence pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence
404(b), but seeks to reserve its right to cross-examine
Defendant with this evidence in the event he testifies at
challenges all five acts as being insufficiently proved.
Defendant further challenges the acts as not being material
to the charged conduct, not being temporally proximate to the
charged conduct, and not being similar enough to the charged
conduct to be admissible.
motion is DENIED as to Act Two, and
GRANTED as to Acts One, Three, Four, and
March 25, 2019, the Government filed a one-count criminal
complaint against Defendant Goeas. (ECF No. 3).
April 4, 2019, a Grand Jury returned a one-count sealed
Indictment against Defendant. (ECF No. 13).
April 8, 2019, Defendant was arraigned and entered a plea of
not guilty. (ECF No. 16).
10, 2019, the Court ordered the Government to file a notice
in writing of its intent to use other acts evidence pursuant
to Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b). (ECF No. 22).
22, 2019, the Government sent Defendant a letter noticing its
intent to use other acts evidence pursuant to Federal Rules
of Evidence 404(b). (ECF No. 23-1).
August 30, 2019, Defendant filed MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1
ACTS EVIDENCE) to exclude the Government's proposed
404(b) evidence. (ECF No. 23).
September 6, 2019, the Government filed their Response. (ECF
October 16, 2019, the Court held a hearing on Defendant's
Motion in Limine. (ECF No. 28).
March 22, 2019 the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(“FBI”) and the Hawaii State Attorney
General's Office began an online sting operation. The
goal of the sting was to apprehend sexual predators by having
an undercover law enforcement officer pose as a minor male on
Grindr, a prominent gay dating site.
same day the sting was initiated, Defendant Goeas began a
chat with the fake Grindr account created by the undercover
agent. (Grindr Chat, attached as Ex. 1 to Opposition, ECF No.
26-1). The agent responded by telling Defendant that his name
was “Rooster” and that he was “really
really young...13.” (Grindr Chat, attached as Ex. 1 to
Opposition, ECF No. 26-1). The undercover agent reiterated
later in the conversation that he was “only 13.”
Id. Defendant responded to this information by
stating “Just to let you know I am a big time hugger
and kisser.” Id. Defendant was 53 at the time.
pair exchanged phone numbers and eventually moved their
conversation from Grindr to text message. Rooster again
stated that “im 13.” (Text Exchange, attached as
Ex. 3 to Opposition, ECF No. 26-3). Despite Rooster restating
that he was underage, Defendant asked Rooster to send a
following day Defendant texted Rooster again. The
conversation quickly became more sexually explicit. Defendant
asked Rooster about his sexual history and preferences. He
then suggested, among other things, that the pair
“cuddle, ” “touch, ” make each other
“feel good with each movement of the hand, ” and
find each other's “sensitive spot.”
repeatedly suggested the two meet in-person. Id.
Eventually, Rooster consented to meet Defendant at a local
park. Rooster suggested Defendant bring “condoms and
lube” to this meeting. Id. When Defendant
arrived at the designated park, he texted Rooster his
location and was promptly arrested. Agents searched his car
and found both condoms and lube. (Affidavit of Special Agent
John G. Mikel in support of Criminal Complaint, at ¶ 10,
ECF No. 3)
his arrest, Defendant, a former police officer, was read his
Miranda rights and then voluntarily agreed to be
interviewed by agents without a lawyer present. Miranda
v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Defendant participated
in an interview and a polygraph test that were audio and
video recorded. After the polygraph test, Defendant was again
interviewed by agents and at that time made the admissions at
issue in this matter. (Statement, attached as Ex. 4 to
Opposition, ECF No. 26-4). Those admissions are summarized by
the Government as follows:
1. The defendant stated that approximately 10 years ago,
while employed as a Honolulu Police Officer, that he had
shared a bed with a 15-year old male friend of this stepson.
The defendant stated that he engaged in a mutual masturbation
episode with the 15-year old underage ...