A state appeals court panel Friday upheld the conviction of a man who fled during his trial and was subsequently found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.
A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that a judge in Compton erred by instructing jurors who heard the case against Quinno Deyza Assoon that they could consider his absence from his trial as evidence of consciousness of guilt.
Assoon — absent for the rest of his trial — was arrested in Tennessee after he was convicted of two counts of committing a lewd act upon a child under 14.
“Defendant’s argument that he was prohibited from offering evidence to explain his absence is belied by the record,” the panel found in its 29-page ruling. “To the contrary, the court invited the defense to offer admissible evidence to explain defendant’s absence.”
The panel noted that the defense attorney only offered his own testimony about a text message he had received from Assoon, who wrote that he had been in a car accident and was in the emergency room.
Assoon was returned to Los Angeles County after law enforcement officers tracked him down in Washington County, Tennessee, and was sentenced in 2017 to 10 years in state prison.
He also was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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