Jun. 14, 2023 – People v. Waqa (1st Dist., Div. 1, A163761)

The Court of Appeal finds insufficient evidence that defendant’s movement of the victim from a public restroom’s small stall to its large stall “substantially increased the risk of harm to the victim over and above that level of risk necessarily inherent in the underlying offense,” as required by the asportation element of the One Strike law’s aggravated kidnapping circumstance (PC 667.61(d)(2)). The court reduces defendant’s sentence from 25 years to life under the aggravated kidnapping circumstance to 15 years to life under the simple kidnapping circumstance (PC 667.61(e)(1)).