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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In this case, the complainant testified that she was working as a prostitute in the sea wall area of Galveston in 1997 when appellant, driving a maroon four-door car, approached her. Appellant showed a badge, identified himself as a police officer, and instructed the complainant to get into the front seat of the car. Appellant then drove toward the beach before stopping to remove a police radio from the trunk of the car and put it into the back seat. Appellant told the complainant that, since his shift was about to end, he did not want to be bothered with filling out the necessary paperwork to complete her arrest. He stopped the vehicle a second time and stated that the complainant would have to perform oral sex on him or go to jail. The complainant reluctantly complied with appellant’s request, briefly performed oral sex on appellant, and then stopped, telling him that he could take her to jail if he wished. Appellant dropped the complainant off a few blocks from the beach, warned her to stay off of the streets, and threatened her with arrest if she was seen on the streets again. The complainant recorded the license plate number on the car after getting out of the car. In the spring of 1997, Erica Cavender was working as a prostitute in the sea wall area of Galveston when Charlie Melvin Page (appellant), driving a maroon car, approached her. Page asked Cavender to perform oral sex on him for a small amount of money, but she declined. Page drove away, only to return minutes later. During this second encounter, Cavender testified that she heard what sounded like a police radio in the back seat of Page’s car and that Page identified himself as a police officer and threatened her with arrest for prostitution. Cavender again declined appellant’s request for oral sex before walking away. Angelina Edenfield was working as a prostitute in the sea wall area of Galveston during Labor Day 1997. She testified that Page, driving a maroon car, approached her. After a short encounter, during which appellant and Edenfield fondled each other and Page told her that he was not a police officer, Edenfield got into Page’s car. As Page drove toward the beach, he displayed a badge, indicated that he was, in fact, a police officer, and that he was conducting a sting operation. Edenfield testified that she also heard what sounded like a police radio in the back seat of the car. Page offered to make a deal with Edenfield, promising not to arrest her if she performed sexual acts on him. At that point, Edenfield asked to discuss the choice with Page. Page, however, became angry and struck Edenfield in the face with his fist before forcing Edenfield to engage in sexual intercourse and perform oral sex. Page subsequently returned Edenfield to the area where the encounter began. A grand jury returned two separate indictments against Page, each arising from the same incident. The first indictment charged appellant with sexual assault in violation of Texas Penal Code �22.011, while the second indictment charged appellant with impersonating a public servant in violation of Texas Penal Code �37.11. Page plead not guilty to both charges, but a jury convicted him. On appeal, the 13th Court of Appeals found that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting extraneous offenses into evidence and reversed Page’s conviction. The state petitioned for discretionary review, and the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) granted review on the state’s sole ground. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Texas Rule of Evidence 404(b), the CCA stated, states that “evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith.” Rule 404(b), however, also provides that extraneous-offense evidence may be admissible for other purposes, such as showing identity. When evidence of an extraneous offense is introduced to prove identity by comparing common characteristics, the CCA stated, it must be so similar to the charged offense that the offenses illustrate the defendant’s distinctive and idiosyncratic manner of committing criminal acts. A thorough reading of the trial court testimony of Cavender and Edenfield, the CCA stated, shows that the three incidents all occurred in mid-1997 and had the following similarities: 1. Each woman was working as a prostitute in the sea wall area of Galveston; 2. Each woman was approached by a man driving a maroon car; 3. Each woman identified appellant as the driver of the maroon car; 4. Appellant approached each woman in the sea wall area of Galveston; 5. Appellant identified himself to each woman as a police officer; 6. Each woman heard what sounded like a police radio in the back seat of appellant’s car; 7. Appellant threatened to arrest each woman for prostitution; and 8. Appellant solicited each woman for oral sex. The CCA concluded, therefore, that the facts of the charged offense and the extraneous offenses show a pattern of conduct sufficiently distinctive to constitute a signature, or a distinctive and idiosyncratic manner of committing criminal acts, and thereby qualified as an exception to the general rule precluding the admission of extraneous-offense evidence. Consequently, the court held that the trial court’s decision to allow the extraneous-offense evidence was within the zone of reasonable disagreement and did not constitute an abuse of discretion. OPINION:Johnson, J., delivered the opinion of the unanimous court.

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