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State v. O’Bremski – Case Brief Summary (Washington)

In State v. O'Bremski, 70 Wash. 2d 425, 423 P.2d 530 (1967), the parents of a 14-year-old female runaway reported her absence to police.

Another juvenile then lead officers to an apartment where they pushed the door open against the expressed will of the male occupant, O'Bremski.

Officers found him partially clothed. A search of the quarters located the runaway, nude but covered with a blanket. O'Bremski was charged with carnal knowledge of a girl under age fifteen. Id. at 531.

In a motion to suppress, O'Bremski argued the police search was illegal and any evidence obtained inadmissible. The motion was denied. At trial, the only evidence of the charged offense was the testimony of the runaway. The jury returned a guilty verdict. Id. O'Bremski argued on appeal the trial court erred by failing to exclude her testimony. Id. at 532.

Disagreeing, the court noted knowledge of the runaway and her presence in the apartment was not the product of the search. Her parents asked police to find her. Another juvenile pointed officers to the apartment. Hence, her testimony was not the product of an unlawful search. Id. at 533.