Coleman v. State (1980)

In Coleman v. State, 621 P.2d 869 (Alaska 1980) the supreme court did not insist that the defendant's prior crimes be so distinctive as to represent his "signature" - so distinctive as to practically identify the defendant from among all other potential culprits. Rather, the court asked whether, under the totality of circumstances, the other sexual assaults bore a striking enough similarity to the crime being litigated that they took on a probative aspect above and beyond the fact that the defendant might be a repeat rapist. (See Coleman, 621 P.2d at 875.)