State v. Edilsar Alvarado

June 30, 2020 Supreme Court No. 2018-191-C.A. (P1/15-3394A) State : v. : Edilsar Alvarado. : NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the Rhode Island Reporter. Readers are requested to notify the Opinion Analyst, Supreme Court of Rhode Island, 250 Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, at Telephone (401) 222-3258 or Email, of any typographical or other formal errors in order that corrections may be made before the opinion is published. Supreme Court No. 2018-191-C.A. (P1/15-3394A) State of Rhode Island : v. : Edilsar Alvarado. : Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ. OPINION Justice Flaherty, for the Court. The defendant, Edilsar Alvarado, appeals from a judgment of conviction on two counts of first-degree child molestation sexual assault. The defendant asserts that the trial justice erred (1) in denying his motion to suppress statements made to the police; (2) in denying his motion for a mistrial, based on a claimed Rule 16 discovery violation; and (3) in denying his Rule 29(b) motion to dismiss as to counts one and two of the indictment. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court. I Facts and Travel In 2008, the complainant, Meghan,1 was thirteen years of age and resided with the defendant, Alvarado. Meghan first met Alvarado in her country of origin, Guatemala. At that time, Meghan lived with her mother, Maria Ortega. During a visit to Guatemala, Alvarado, who 1 To protect the anonymity of the complaining witness, we have used a pseudonym in place of her name. -1- was twenty-nine years old at that time, offered to bring Meghan to the United States to live with him. Meghan testified that Alvarado told her that she could attend school and have a better life in the United States. Meghan further said that she wanted to come to the United States to work and send money back home. Additionally, two of her brothers already lived in the United States, and Meghan knew that one of her sisters was planning to come to the United States. In April 2008, Meghan and her sister began their journey to the United States. For that purpose, Alvarado paid a “coyote” to transport Meghan from Guatemala to Rhode Island.2 In the trial justice’s words, Meghan’s journey was “the stuff movies are made of.” Meghan and her sister joined a group that traveled from Guatemala to Mexico. Once in Mexico, the group attempted to cross the border into the United States. That attempt turned out to be unsuccessful, because the group was intercepted by members of the United States Customs and Border Protection. Meghan, who had become separated from her sister, then hid for two days before she was eventually apprehended by border agents. As she had been instructed, Meghan lied about her age to avoid prolonged detention. She was returned to Mexico. After her return to Mexico, Meghan was able to reconnect with the coyote. From there, Meghan successfully crossed into the United States. ...

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