People v. Beliard
Justice Elizabeth Garry
Beliard appealed from a judgment convicting him of rape, attempted sodomy and endangering the welfare of a child. He was separately indicted from co-defendants for crimes regarding the assault on one of two victims. Beliard argued the charges against him were improperly consolidated with those against Edmond Joseph, claiming they involved two different victims and did not constitute "the same criminal transaction." Prosecutors argued Beliard and Joseph met the victims and lured them together to Joseph's apartment where they were attacked in the same place at the same time by both men. The court noted that even if Beliard preserved this claim, the panel would have found the alleged conduct of the pair was "so closely related and connected in point of time and circumstances of commission" so as to constitute the same criminal transaction for consolidation purposes. Further, the court noted the initial misidentification by one victim was of limited relevance, and the trial court did not abuse its broad discretion in limiting cross-examination on the issue at the Wade hearing. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment.