When Sexual Theatrics Go Wrong

State v. McGacken. Things went from great to terrible for Brian McGacken in a matter of minutes. During a tryst with his girlfriend, neighbors overheard something that sounded like a woman being accosted but was in fact a very satisfied customer:

Responding to an anonymous 911 call, state troopers went to Brian McGacken’s home on Feb. 17, 2007, and he answered the door dressed in a bathrobe. When he explained the source of the noise [a woman screaming blood murder], the troopers asked to speak to his girlfriend. She came downstairs wearing a towel and confirmed his explanation. Nevertheless, the troopers asked McGacken for identification. He went upstairs to retrieve it and did not object when a trooper followed him.

On the second floor, the trooper smelled raw marijuana and saw McGacken use his foot to push a tray under a couch. Asked what was on the tray, McGacken admitted it was marijuana. In the bedroom, the trooper saw bagged and loose marijuana as well as growing plants. Arrested, McGacken consented to a search of his home, resulting in the seizure of 12.5 ounces of loose and bagged marijuana, 15 plants and marijuana-related equipment and paraphernalia.

McGacken tried to suppress the evidence on the grounds that the cops lacked a reasonable basis to enter his home after providing a logical explanation for the screaming. Generally, the cops can’t use any evidence they find in your house unless they have a reason to be there. Any evidence obtained during an illegal search is subject to the exclusionary rule. U.S. v. Mapp. Unfortunately for McGacken, the court held that the cops were operating under the duty to rescue when they entered his home and consequently anything illicit obtained during that search is admissible. McGacken has been sentenced to 10 years in the clink. Here’s hoping, for us all, he appeals.

From Law.com.

(for some reason when you google image search “sexual theatrics” there’s a lot of hits for the Salem Witch Trials and Adam Lambert)

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