The Appellate Group

In re D.A.M.G.

In re D.A.M.G., 2023 UT App 101 (Mortensen, J.)

Juvenile/Criminal Procedure

The juvenile court found that Minor committed aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. Minor moved to amend the judgment and findings, arguing merger of the offenses. The juvenile court refused to merge the offenses. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in declining to merge the aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping charges. The defendant committed separate acts satisfying the elements of both charges. 
  • The juvenile court did not commit clear error in making its factual findings regarding a shift in Minor’s intent. 
  • Practice tip: The court rejected that “some level of detention” is inherent in sexual assaults.
  • Practice tip: The merger statute in Utah Code Ann. section 76-1-402 contains two merger tests, either of which may apply to a case. 

Read the full court opinion