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Because Richard T. engaged in sexual conduct with a 15 year-old girl, a jury found him guilty of rape in the third degree.

When he later asked that the verdict be set aside due to, among other things, a paucity of evidence and an improper jury instruction, the Tioga County Court denied that request.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, Third Department, thought that the evidence supported the conviction, particularly since the parties' ages were confirmed, the victim testified about the relationship, and two individuals attested to having witnessed the couple engaged in sexual intercourse.

The AD3 also couldn't discern any irregularity with the judge's "reasonable doubt" instruction, nor found any other error or omission to be prejudicial to the case's outcome. (Even though a juror looked up the term "reasonable doubt" on the Internet, and referred to a note with the definition during the course of deliberations, the AD3 didn't think--based on the testimony the trial judge elicited at a hearing--that conduct impacted the end result.)

In other words, any errors were seen as minor.

To view a copy of the Appellate Division's decision, please use this link: People v. T.