Elliott v. State

In Elliott v. State, 600 P.2d 1044 (Wyo. 1979), the defendant was accused of sexual assault for having committed vaginal intercourse with his nine-year-old stepdaughter. The Court upheld admission of the testimony of the victim's older sister that the defendant had attempted to have sexual intercourse with her. Elliott noted that most courts admit the testimony of third persons concerning uncharged sexual misconduct to show motive or plan in cases involving sexual assaults with family members as the victims. Elliott, 600 P.2d at 1047-48. When the accused denies any wrongdoing, an evidentiary conflict exists between the victim and the accuser, and evidence of motive assists a jury in resolving the ultimate issue. Id. at 1048-49. If the motive at issue is that of a preference for unusual sexual practice in the form of pedophilia, the uncharged sexual misconduct could assist the trier of fact in determining whether the accused was so motivated. Id. at 1049.