The Appellate Group

State v. Arnold

State v. Arnold, 2023 UT App 68 (Mortensen, J.)


William Arnold was convicted of multiple crimes including, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, theft, criminal mischief, and felony discharge of a firearm with an injury. He argued on appeal that he received ineffective assistance of counsel on account of his counsel’s failure to object to erroneous jury instructions, move for a directed verdict after the State failed to provide evidence of the amount of monetary damage caused for the criminal mischief charge, move for a directed verdict on the discharge of a firearm with an injury, or object to testimony that he was a felon. The court of appeals affirmed the convictions, holding in part:

  • Although the jury instructions for the aggravated sexual assault charge were incorrect because they lacked a mens rea element, Mr. Arnold was not prejudice by the lack because it is critical to accept that “no means no” and he provided no evidence to show that it was reasonable to believe otherwise.
  • Even a temporary “ringing in the ears” can qualify as an injury.

Read the full court opinion