The Fayetteville Observer reports here that Army trial counsel are asking a military judge in the court-martial of Army Spc. Aaron Pernell to admit pattern evidence under Mil. R. Evid. 404(b). The report states:
Normally, a jury is not allowed to hear about a defendant’s other convictions or charges. The courts have said such information unjustly taints a jury’s perception of the defendant. . . .
Capt. Jennifer Venghaus, a prosecutor, argued that the “signature” of the assailant from the eight civilian cases – things the attacker said, what he wore, how he responded to things the victims did, his difficulty in maintaining an erection – matches the facts in the rape of a woman on Fort Bragg. . . .
Capt. Kevin Adams, one of Pernell’s defense lawyers, countered that it would be unfair to tell the jury about the civilian evidence. The DNA matched Pernell in only two of the off-post assaults, Adams said.
Sounds like an interesting set of facts and, if your Spc. Pernell, an unfortunate set to be the subject of a regionally publicized hearing. Our prior coverage with a link to prior a report is here.