Opinion Date: October 25, 2012
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
Petitioner was convicted by a jury of two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor. The court of appeal reversed and remanded for a new trial. At Petitioner's second trial, the trial court partially closed the courtroom during the testimony of the victim pursuant to Fla. Stat. 918.16(2), which provided for partial closure of the courtroom during the testimony of a victim of a sex offense upon the victim's request. Appellant was again convicted of the charges. The court of appeals affirmed Appellant's convictions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant was not denied his right to a public trial by the trial court's partial closure during the victim's testimony; and (2) a partial closure pursuant to section 918.16(2) acceptably embraces the requirements set forth in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Waller v. Georgia.