Extraneous Offense Evidence In Sex Crime Against a Minor

In Rankin v. State, 974 S.W.2d 707 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996), a case involving the aggravated sexual assault of a child, the State sought to introduce two other instances of sexual molestation that occurred immediately prior to the event forming the basis of the indictment. See id. at 708. The defendant objected to the admission of the testimony on the basis of Rule 404(b), which prohibits the admission of evidence of extraneous offenses to show character conformity. See id. The trial court overruled the objection but granted appellant's request for a limiting instruction, giving it only in the jury charge. See id. The Court of Criminal Appeals found the denial of a contemporaneous instruction was erroneous, since the limiting instruction in the jury charge was too untimely to ensure the jury would properly consider the evidence. See Rankin, 974 S.W.2d at 712-13. The court sent the case back to the court of appeals to determine if the error was subject to harmless error review, and, if so, whether the error was harmless. See id. at 713. The court also stated that both a contemporaneous limiting instruction and a jury charge limiting instructions were required when requested. See Rankin, 974 S.W.2d at 712-13 n.3.