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State v. Jarvis

July 24, 2003



Causing a victim to involuntarily ingest a toxic amount of barbiturates, which causes unconsciousness and weakens or damages the victim's ability to move, remember, speak, drive, and generally function in a normal way, is a sufficient impairment of physical condition to satisfy the definition of bodily harm under Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 7 (2002).

The recording requirement set forth in State v. Scales, The opinion of the court was delivered by: Meyer, Justice


Appellant Carl James Jarvis was convicted on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of use of drugs to facilitate a crime for allegedly drugging and repeatedly raping his victim. The court of appeals affirmed his convictions. This appeal followed.

Jarvis argues that his conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct was unsupported by the evidence because causing someone to lose consciousness is not sufficient to establish that he caused a personal injury under Minn. Stat. §á609.342, subd. 1(e)(ii) (2002). Jarvis also argues that the district court erred when it admitted into evidence an interview he made to the police because the interview should have been recorded. We affirm the district court.

Jarvis and K.F. were employed at the same company and over the course of time they became friends. K.F. testified that Jarvis was someone she confided in about work, family, friends, and even problems in her marriage. In late 1998 or early 1999, Jarvis asked K.F. to work for his division at the company. They met on three separate occasions at a hotel to discuss the potential promotion. K.F. testified that none of these meetings resulted in any type of sexual conduct.

Around this same time, K.F. complained to Jarvis about feeling tired at work. Jarvis agreed that K.F. should take vitamins and began bringing vitamins in a plastic bag to work. K.F. took the vitamins provided by Jarvis without any adverse effect.

In the course of their friendship, K.F. confided in Jarvis that her goal was to become a model. Jarvis offered to make connections for K.F. with a so-called "friend" in the modeling business to further K.F.'s goal. On February 15, 1999, Jarvis told K.F. that his contact in the modeling industry requested K.F.'s portfolio. They agreed to meet the next day at a hotel so Jarvis could photograph K.F. in various outfits.

As agreed, K.F. met Jarvis at a hotel on February 16 at about 10:00 or 10:30 a.m. Before K.F. went into the bathroom to change, Jarvis stated "[w]e better not forget to take our vitamins," and handed her a handful of pills. K.F. took the pills. She testified that the pills looked no different from the vitamins Jarvis had given her in the past. About ten minutes later, K.F. testified that Jarvis's words began to get long, the room started to get blurry, and the last thing she remembered was the room becoming white.

K.F. testified that her next memory was hearing a door click and the sound of someone entering the room. She was "on the bed with nothing but a shirt on under some covers." She testified that she felt

[d]isoriented. I was laying down, so I tried to get up, and it was like you couldn't move your body. It was like you were just laying there trying to force yourself to get up; I couldn't. I was confused. I still didn't know what was going on. I was still pretty groggy.

She also testified that Jarvis got into bed with her and sexually penetrated her. She was amnesiac again for an unknown period of time. Eventually she was able to get up, collect her belongings, and leave the hotel. She started to drive home. She called her husband and told him that she had been drugged and raped and could not drive, and stopped at a weigh station to wait for him. Officer Eric Flood arrived at the weigh station at 5:30 p.m. and observed K.F. as being very confused, with blurred speech. Flood testified that K.F. appeared to be drunk and could hardly stand or move on her own.

K.F. was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital at 6:55 p.m. where she was examined by Dr. Daniel Campbell and nurse Kathryn Fast. Fast observed K.F. as being groggy, unsure of any events, and bewildered. Campbell testified that he believed K.F. had recently ingested barbiturates and concluded that she was amnesiac for six to seven hours during the day. Campbell's conclusion was confirmed by a test result indicating the presence of barbiturates in K.F.'s urine. He also testified that there was no other evidence that she was injured or had suffered trauma as a result of the rape. Dr. Campbell concluded to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that loss of consciousness from barbiturates is an impairment of a physical condition.

LaRae McPartlin, a forensic scientist from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, testified that K.F.'s blood sample taken at the hospital tested positive for the presence of two distinct barbiturate drugs, amobarbital and secobarbital. Both of these drugs are sedative hypnotic drugs and are used to put people to sleep. McPartlin testified that when secobarbital becomes effective, it binds to cells in the brain and interferes with brain function. She further testified that if taken at a therapeutic level the barbiturates cause "divided attention impairment which would influence a person's driving, * * * influence[e] the person's gait. [The individual] would appear to sort of stumble, incoherent." If the amount of barbiturate ingested reaches a toxic level, the individual may lose consciousness, become comatose, or even die. The amount of barbiturates in the blood sample drawn from K.F. at approximately 9:00 p.m. on February 16, 1999, ...

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