State v. Kusy - No. 20120377
Cynthia Kusy appeals after a jury found her guilty of sexual assault and of luring a minor by computer.
Kusy was charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of luring a minor by computer. The State alleged Kusy engaged in explicit online conversations with a minor male, through Facebook and email, and Kusy engaged in various sexual acts with the minor at a hotel in Grand Forks in April 2011. Later in April, Kusy allegedly picked up the minor from his home in Grand Forks and traveled with him to her home in Tennessee. No charges were filed as a result of this later incident. At the jury trial, the prosecution stated in its opening argument, "You're here because April of last year, Cynthia F. Kusy, 46 years old, came to Grand Forks from her home in Tennessee and engaged in multiple sexual acts with 16 year-old [minor]. Investigation of this case began April 25th, 2011, when the defendant abducted [the minor] from his mother's home." The defense objected, arguing the State had not charged Kusy with abduction or kidnaping. The trial court informed the jury there was no charge of abduction or kidnaping. After hearing the evidence, the jury found Kusy guilty of all three counts.
On appeal, Kusy argues that the State's comment in opening argument that Kusy had abducted [the minor] was prosecutorial misconduct and prejudiced the jury against her.