Washington Legal Roundup – Division I
Michael Tyronne Gresham was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation in the first degree. He challenged the constitutionality of RCW 10.58.090 under the separation of powers doctrine and he alleged that as applied to him, the statute was an unconstitutional ex post facto law.
RCW 10.58.090 allowed prosecutors to offer evidence of past sex offenses at Mr. Gresham’s trial. The Court of Appeals held that the statute did not violate the separation of powers doctrine because both the courts and the legislature are authorized to amend the rules of evidence, which is what this statute did.
The Court of Appeals also determined that the statute as applied to Mr. Gresham was not an ex post facto law because it did not change the fact that the state still had the burden of proving that he had committed the prior sex offenses. The opinion was issued on the same day as a case from the same court involving the same issues. See State v. Scherner.