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Ragland v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 16, 2015

RAGLAND
v.
THE STATE

Page 773

Rape, etc. Bibb Superior Court. Before Judge Self.

Steven M. Harrison, for appellant.

K. David Cooke, Jr., District Attorney, Dorothy V. Hull, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

MCFADDEN, Judge. Ellington, P. J., and Dillard, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 774

McFadden, Judge.

Terrance Devon Ragland appeals his convictions of rape and enticing a child for indecent purposes. Ragland argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel but has failed to overcome the strong presumption that counsel's performance fell within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance. He argues that the trial court improperly admitted evidence of a similar transaction but has failed to show that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting that evidence. Finally he argues that the evidence does not support his convictions, but we find the evidence sufficient. We therefore affirm.

1. Sufficiency of the evidence.

In considering whether the evidence is sufficient to support a defendant's conviction, " the relevant question is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (III) (B) (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979) (citation omitted; emphasis in original). So viewed, the evidence showed that on the evening of June 23, 2010, the 13-year-old victim was walking to her aunt's house when a man drove up and offered her a ride. She recognized the man because he had spoken with her mother before. She therefore felt safe with him and accepted the ride.

Instead of driving the victim to her aunt's house, the man drove her behind a vacant apartment building. He locked the doors of the vehicle and climbed into the back seat where the victim was sitting. Then he held her down, removed her pants, and put his penis in her vagina.

At one point, the man got off the victim, returned to the driver's seat, and began driving. When he slowed down, the victim got out of the car and ran to her aunt's house. She told her aunt what had happened, and the aunt called the victim's mother, who came over, as did police.

The victim described the man's appearance, his clothing, and his car, and told her mother that the man said he knew her. The mother determined that the victim was referring to Ragland and told the [332 Ga.App. 511] police. An officer drove the victim and her mother to the hospital, where, from a photograph, the victim identified Ragland as the perpetrator. The emergency room physician who examined the victim testified that the victim's hymen had been lacerated and her cervix bruised, injuries that were consistent with the victim having been sexually assaulted.

Ragland testified on his own behalf at trial. He admitted that he had sexual intercourse with the victim. But he testified that the victim had told him that she was 17 years ...


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