Court: Application for poor to get lawyer can’t be evidence
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An appeals court says prosecutors can’t use the document needed to get a court-appointed defense lawyer guaranteed by the Constitution to prove a North Carolina man’s relationship with a teenage girl was illegal.
The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Raul Diaz must be retried on statutory rape and child abduction charges after the girl ran away with him to New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Diaz was 19 and the girl was 14 and they went to the same Pitt County high school when they started their relationship.
Judges said prosecutors shouldn’t have been allowed to show jurors the document Diaz completed for a court-appointed lawyer that included his birthdate. The court ruled that violated the defendant’s right in the U.S. Constitution against self-incrimination.