The Appellate Group

State v. Almaguer

State v. Almaguer, 2020 UT App 117 (Christiansen Forster, J.)


The defendant raped his wife’s friend in his living room while she pretended to be sleeping next to her sleeping children. At trial, he claimed she traded sex acts for methamphetamine and when he refused to have sex with her, she asked him to instead ejaculate into her palm, and then forced the semen into her vagina while pleasuring herself. During closing statements, the prosecutor called the defendant a liar and claimed he committed perjury on the stand. The court on its own instructed the jury that it alone could determine truthfulness of the testimony. The defendant did not ask for a mistrial based upon prosecutorial misconduct. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, holding:

  • The trial court did not commit plain error. The defendant has failed to identify an obvious error of the trial court that prejudiced him.
  • The defendant did not preserve his claim that the victim’s testimony should have been disregarded because it was inherently improbable.

Read the full court opinion