Reconsideration denied March 19, 2015 -- Cert. applied for.
Statutory rape, etc. Gwinnett Superior Court. Before Judge T. Davis.
Sharon L. Hopkins, for appellant.
Daniel J. Porter, District Attorney, Christopher M. Quinn, Teresa B. Klein, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.
BARNES, Presiding Judge. Boggs and Branch, JJ., concur.
Barnes, Presiding Judge.
A jury convicted Quentin Marcellius Hill of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation. Hill filed a motion for a new trial, which the trial court denied. On appeal, Hill challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. He further contends that it was plain error for the trial court to charge the jury that the prior consistent statements of the victim may constitute sufficient corroboration in a statutory rape case, and that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the charge. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm.
The evidence, construed in favor of the jury's verdict, showed that on June 28, 2011, the 13-year-old victim was sitting alone in her mother's car in a grocery store parking lot. Hill, who was 21 years old, parked his car next to the mother's car where the victim was sitting and went inside the store. After leaving the store, Hill saw that the victim was still in the car and signaled for her to roll down her window. The victim complied, and Hill asked the victim her age. The victim told Hill that she was 13 years old. When Hill said that he did not believe her, the victim repeated her age, and Hill responded, " [Y]ou're young, but I still think you're cute and I want to talk to you." Hill and the victim then exchanged cell phone numbers, and the victim programmed Hill's name and phone number into her cell phone.
Hill called and texted the victim later that same day, and they continued to talk on the phone and text one another over the next few months. The text messages quickly became sexual in nature. Ultimately, Hill began coming over to the victim's house in the morning after her parents had left for work but before the victim left for school. In early September 2011, Hill came over to the victim's house before school and performed oral sex on her. Later that month, Hill returned to the victim's house before school, performed oral sex on her, and had sexual intercourse with her. Hill and the victim continued to text back and forth with one another before and after their sexual encounters.
By the end of September, the victim's father had become concerned that his daughter might be involved in an inappropriate relationship and took away her cell phone. He
went through the text messages and found several from Hill, including the messages that were sexual in nature. He also found a picture of Hill on the victim's phone and realized that he was " grown." Hill continued attempting to call and text the victim ...