State v. DeJesus, ___ N.C. App. ___, 827 S.E.2d 744 (May. 7, 2019)

In this statutory rape case, the victim’s Honduran birth certificate was properly authenticated. To establish the victim’s age, the State introduced a copy of the victim’s Honduran birth certificate, obtained from her school file. That document showed her date of birth to be September 15, 2003 and established that she was 12 years old when the incidents occurred. The defendant’s objection that the birth certificate was not properly authenticated was overruled and the defendant was convicted. The defendant appealed. The document was properly authenticated. Here, although the birth certificate was not an original, nothing in the record indicates that it was forged or otherwise inauthentic. The document appears to bear the signature and seal of the Honduran Municipal Civil Registrar, and a witness testified that school personnel would not have made a copy of it unless the original had been produced. Additionally, a detective testified that the incident report had identified the victim as having a birthday of September 15, 2003. The combination of these circumstances sufficiently establish the requisite prima facie showing to allow the trial court to reasonably determine that the document was an authentic copy of the victim’s birth certificate.