Can a jury rely on the testimony of an accomplice in a sexual assault case?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from People v. Topete, B288850 (Cal. App. 2020):

It is well settled that a jury may rely on an accomplice's testimony about the circumstances of an offense, but it must find, without aid from the accomplice's testimony, that corroborating evidence tends to connect the defendant to the crime. (People v. Romero and Self (2015) 62 Cal.4th 1, 32; see also Pen. Code, 1111 ["A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice unless it be corroborated by such other evidence as shall tend to connect the defendant with the commission of the offense"].) In so doing, " '[t]he entire conduct of the parties, their relationship, acts, and conduct may be taken into consideration by the trier of fact in determining the sufficiency of the corroboration.' " (People v. Romero and Self, at p. 32.)

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