United States v. Jeremy Aungie


United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 19-2846 ___________________________ United States of America Plaintiff – Appellee v. Jeremy Aungie Defendant – Appellant ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota – Sioux Falls ____________ Submitted: October 22, 2020 Filed: July 12, 2021 ____________ Before COLLOTON, GRASZ, and STRAS, Circuit Judges. ____________ GRASZ, Circuit Judge. A jury convicted Jeremy Aungie of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1153, 2241(c), and 2246(2)(A). The district court1 sentenced Aungie to concurrent terms of 420-months imprisonment and five years 1 The Honorable Lawrence L. Piersol, United States District Judge for the District of South Dakota. of supervised release for each count. Aungie raises five issues on appeal, arguing the district court erred by (1) denying his motion for judgment of acquittal for insufficient evidence, (2) denying his motions to exclude evidence of prior drug and alcohol use, (3) excluding expert testimony and his request for a Daubert hearing,2 (4) excluding text messages, and (5) excluding evidence of the victim’s alleged motive to lie. We affirm. I. Background Aungie and his two children, a boy (J.A.) and a girl (A.A.), lived in a three- bedroom home on the Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation with nine other family members, including Aungie’s parents, his sister, his brother, and his brother’s five young children. Aungie and his children shared one bedroom. A.A. and J.A.’s mother left the home when the children were two and three years old. They were allowed visitation with their mother one day each week but, generally, saw her less frequently. A.A. felt she had a close, trusting relationship with her mother, brother, and several friends. In spring 2018, when A.A. was thirteen years old, her grades deteriorated, she began cutting herself, and she was suspended from school for fighting. A.A.’s grandmother, who was also her guardian, punished A.A. by smashing her phone. After her suspension, A.A. decided to leave home. A.A. packed items in her school backpack and went to her mother, who was staying at a hotel near the school. Within days, A.A. disclosed to her mother that her father had sexually abused her for years. At trial, A.A. described incidents when Aungie struck and sexually assaulted her, generally while he was intoxicated. The sexual assaults began when she was eight or nine. Aungie woke A.A. from sleeping by touching her underneath her underwear, pulling her hair and telling her to lay down when she resisted. As time 2 The Honorable Karen E. Schreier, United States District Judge for the District of South Dakota, denied Aungie’s motions to exclude expert testimony and to hold a Daubert hearing before the case was reassigned to Judge Piersol. -2- went on, Aungie would lock the bedroom door, tell A.A. what to do, and hit her when she did not comply with his commands or resisted sexual assaults. A.A. said she would sometimes escape by saying she had to use the bathroom or …

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