Darby v. State

In Darby v. State, 922 S.W.2d 614 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1996, pet. ref'd) the court held that extraneous offenses can be admitted to show motive or illustrate intent where it cannot be inferred from an act. There, the appellant, masquerading as a photographer, convinced a thirteen year old girl to pose for a video he wanted to shoot. Id. at 617. During a photograph session with the appellant, the girl's mother left her alone with the "photographer" for approximately fifteen minutes. Id. According to the girl, upon her mother's departure, the appellant allegedly touched her breasts and vagina. Id. The appellant denied the accusations and argued that the girl took offense when he tried to adjust her bra strap for the photos he was posing. Id. At trial, the jury disregarded the appellant's testimony and convicted him of indecency with a child by sexual contact. Id. at 614. During appellant's trial, the State offered a magazine depicting young girls in sexually explicit poses to prove appellant's intent at the time of the alleged incident. Darby, 922 S.W.2d at 618-19. The trial court admitted this evidence over appellant's objections that the magazine was not relevant to his intent to commit the charged offense. Id. at 619. The court of appeals upheld the trial court's ruling, holding that affirmative circumstantial links between the magazine, appellant, and the charged offense could be established. Id. at 620.