5th District Court of Appeal
Case No. 5D22-1890
September 2023

Blow vs State

Did Not Participate

No items found.

Case Details


In a 2-1 decision, the majority upholds the convictions and sentence for sexual battery and trespass. The ruling reads:

"Appellant’s consent defense depended entirely on his own testimony. … Appellant’s credibility before the jury was severely diminished. … there is no reasonable possibility that the error affected the jury’s verdict. Therefore, the verdict should remain undisturbed."

The majority do agree with the Appellant that the trial court should have allowed the Appellant to testify to two alleged incidents of consensual intercourse before the night in question. All relevant evidence is admissible unless it is excluded by law. They argue:

  • the Appellant’s excluded testimony would have been relevant to his consent defense.
  • the content of the excluded testimony was not excluded by the law. They reason that the Florida Statute known as the “rape shield law” includes protections for victims to exclude consensual sex acts between the victim and “any person other than the defendant on trial”. This does not apply here because the Appellant was alleging acts between the victim and himself, not another person.

They agreed with the State, though, that the trial court error was harmless, meaning it did not affect the outcome. They argued that the jury had three basic components to determine their verdict: the testimonies of the Appellant and the victim, the victim’s 911 call, and the Appellant’s recorded interrogation. The credibility of the victim and Appellant were important.

  • The victim was consistent between her 911 call and her testimony.
  • The Appellant’s story “differed wildly” between his interrogation and the trial. And, during his interrogation, he varied his story. One example of contradictory claims: the victim owed him money, and he didn’t know the victim. Ultimately in the interrogation he said “I guess it happened” and agreed he was sorry he did it.
  • There were not other consent witnesses or other supporting evidence excluded by the trial court.

They concluded that the Appellant’s consent defense relied entirely his testimony, which the jury did not find credible. The excluded testimony would not have increased his credibility. Because of this they upheld the original verdict and sentencing.

Partial Dissent: Judge X

"… I cannot conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the State has met its burden to show that the trial court’s error in excluding testimony about prior, similar consensual activity … did not affect the verdict."

Lambert agreed with the majority that the trial court should not have excluded the Appellant’s testimony. He adds that excluding the testimony prevented a cross-examination of the victim about the alleged prior acts, which violated the Appellant’s Sixth Amendment right.

While the majority felt it was a harmless error, he did not agree. He argues that testimony of two similar, recent consensual encounters significantly strengthens the Appellant’s defense that the incident in this case was also consensual. He also feels that excluding this testimony mischaracterizes the relationship between victim and the Appellant and that the jury may have given greater weight to his story if it wasn’t a “one-time occurrence”.

Because he can’t say beyond a reasonable doubt that the State showed the error was harmless, he does not agree with the end result of the majority opinion.

Read the full ruling


The Appellant was convicted of sexual battery and trespass.

The victim had been sleeping in the bedroom of a residence she shared with her boyfriend. The Appellant was accused of sneaking into the residence, sexually assaulting her, and leaving. During the assault, the victim believed the man had been her boyfriend and did not stop him. She discovered shortly that the man in the bedroom had not been her boyfriend, who had been asleep on the couch. She called 911.

The Appellant’s DNA was found as part of the investigation. During interrogation, he did not claim to have had any prior consensual intercourse with the victim.

During the trial, the Appellant’s defense was that she consented to the intercourse in exchange for Percocet tablets. The trial court allowed him to testify to this for the incident in question, but did not allow him to testify that this exchange had happened on two other occasions.

Related Articles

None found

Note: Some resources, like the Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today, have a limited number of free articles before putting up a paywall.

Jump to Top of Case Details