State v. Brown, 365 N.C. 465 (Mar. 9, 2012)

In a per curiam opinion, the court affirmed the decision below in State v. Brown, 211 N.C. App. 427 (May 3, 2011) (in a case in which the defendant was charged with sexually assaulting his minor child, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court erred by admitting evidence that he possessed pornographic materials (“Family Letters,” a publication purporting to contain letters regarding individuals’ sexual exploits with family members); the defendant argued that the evidence was inadmissible under Rule 404(b) absent a showing that he used the materials during the crimes or showed them to the victim at or near the time of the crimes; the court concluded that the evidence was properly admitted to show motive and intent; as to motive, it stated: “evidence of a defendant’s incestuous pornography collection sheds light on that defendant’s desire to engage in an incestuous relationship, and that desire serves as evidence of that defendant’s motive to commit the underlying act – engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim/defendant’s child – constituting the offense charged”; as to intent, it concluded that the defendant’s desire to engage in incestuous sexual relations may reasonably be inferred from his possession of the incestuous pornography, a fact relevant to the attempted rape charge; the court also found the evidence relevant to show a purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in connection with an indecent liberties charge; finally, the court concluded that the evidence passed the Rule 403 balancing test, noting that it was admitted with a limiting instruction).