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Washington v. Krause

filed: July 22, 1996.

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
KEITH KRAUSE, APPELLANT.



Superior Court County: King. Superior Court Cause No: 94-1-01485-1-SEA. Date filed in Superior Court: 10/10/94. Superior Court Judge Signing: Ricardo Martinez.

Written by: Becker, J., Concurred by: Baker, CJ, Webster, J.

Author: Becker

BECKER, J. -- Keith Krause appeals his conviction on charges of child molestation and child rape. Krause contends the trial court erred in admitting evidence of uncharged sex abuse to show a "common scheme or plan" to molest young boys. We affirm.

I.

The State charged Keith Krause with one count of first degree child rape and five counts of first degree child molestation. Krause, thirty-six, knew the two alleged victims through his girlfriend, Wendy. At the time the charged acts allegedly occurred, Wendy was living with her brother and his family. The family included a six-year old boy, J. Krause was living with Wendy's sister and her family.

Trial testimony established that Krause was nice to J when he came to visit. Wendy and the boy grew to like him. Krause and Wendy took J to the park, to movies, to McDonald's, and on camping trips. J's mother recalled that J talked about Krause "all the time." J's uncle said Krause's relationship with J was "like a father . . . to a son."

When J became scared during the night, he would sometimes go to Wendy's bed to sleep. Krause often slept in Wendy's bed as well. When J stayed over at Krause's house, he would sleep with Wendy and Krause in Krause's bed. J said that Krause would sometimes touch his privates during the night on these occasions. One night, Krause put his mouth on J's penis.

B, also age six, was a frequent visitor at J's house. Krause befriended B and included him in activities such as swimming and camping. During a camping trip, B slept in a tent with Krause, Wendy, and another girl. B said that on three consecutive nights, Krause fondled his private parts in the tent while the others were sleeping. Although he did not remember the event at trial, B told a social worker that Krause also touched his private parts once when he slept over at J's house.

Krause denied that he had inappropriately touched either boy.

At trial, the State moved to introduce evidence of prior acts of child molestation perpetrated by Krause. The evidence would come in through the testimony of Roger Wolfe, a court-appointed psychologist who interviewed Krause following his arrest on charges of child molestation in 1982. Krause pleaded guilty to those offenses and served approximately six years in prison.

Krause told Wolfe that in about 1978, he became emotionally attached to C, who was then six or seven years old. Krause was living with a friend and sleeping on his couch. C, who was the son of the friend's girlfriend, would sleep on another couch in the same room. After several weeks Krause and C began sleeping together. Krause came home drunk one night and fondled the boy's penis. From that point, Krause began to fantasize about sex with young boys. His sexual contact with C became increasingly frequent. Krause eventually moved out of the house because he felt guilty about his behavior. He would sometimes visit, however, and have sexual contact with C. He started taking C on outings, such as camping trips, where the two would share a sleeping bag. The sexual contact progressed to the point where Krause was performing fellatio on the boy.

Krause told Wolfe that in 1980, he began to have sexual contact with another child, the seven-year-old son of one of Krause's friends. Krause reported grooming the boy by paying attention to him and playing games with him. He said he had sexual contact, usually including fellatio, with this boy about five times. Krause also had sexual contact with the boy's younger brother about five times.

Krause also told Wolfe he had fondled the genitals of the young stepbrother of another friend, once in Krause's truck, and once in the basement of his home. Krause had been on a camping trip with this boy. Finally, Krause told Wolfe he had sexual contact with an eight-year-old boy whom he had befriended in the course of his duties as manager of a hotel in North Seattle.

After an extensive pretrial hearing, the trial court concluded that evidence of Krause's prior offenses served to prove the existence of a common scheme or plan to molest young boys. Pursuant to this ruling, the court permitted the State to introduce the testimony of Roger Wolfe, who described Krause's earlier sexual contact with the five ...


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