Why Does Evidence That Defendant Charged With Rape Had Previously Committed the Same Act Render It Inadmissible
In Williams v. State, 110 So.2d 654 (Fla.), cert. denied, 361 U.S. 847, 80 S.Ct. 102, 4 L.Ed.2d 86 (1959), the fact evidence involved evidence that the defendant, who was charged with rape, had previously committed the same act in precisely the same manner.
Williams had hidden in the back seat of the victim's car, waited for the victim to return, and raped her. the state produced a witness who testified that Williams waited in her car and committed the identical act in the same parking lot at about the same hour as the attack on the victim.
This Court allowed the evidence to be admitted under the theory that it showed Williams' plan or pattern of operation.
The prior acts are far too remote in time to support any allegation that they could have provided appellant with a motive for the killings.
As such, the only possible issue for which this evidence could be used is to prove character and propensity.
As the statute states, these issues are not valid grounds for the admission of similar fact evidence.
A danger of unfair prejudice arises if alleged acts of sexual misconduct are put before the jury when such evidence is not relevant to prove a material issue.
This danger renders the evidence inadmissible. Here, the inflammatory effect of this type of evidence played a role in the conviction of appellant.