DILLARD, P. J., REESE and BETHEL, JJ.
Dillard, Presiding Judge.
a jury trial, James Vernon Douglas was found guilty on one
count of child molestation for viewing a pornographic video
with his then four-year-old daughter. Douglas appeals from this
conviction, arguing that the trial court abused its
discretion by failing to (1) excuse a juror for cause and (2)
allow the defense to question the victim's mother as to
her own previous false allegation of child molestation. For
the reasons set forth infra, we affirm Douglas's
in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict,
record reflects that in the summer of 2011, Douglas's
daughter, M. D., visited with him overnight at his
girlfriend's home in St. Mary's. Approximately
one-and-a-half weeks after returning home to Florida, M.
D.'s mother discovered the child with her pants removed,
touching her genital area both inside and outside before
licking her fingers. When the mother asked M. D. where she
had learned to do such a thing, M. D. first responded with
"nobody, " which the mother found odd. But upon
further questioning, M. D. admitted that "James,
daddy" taught her that behavior. M. D. then made an
outcry to her mother, describing sexual acts that Douglas
allegedly performed on and with her, as well as a "dirty
movie" that she watched with her father in which two
adults engaged in various sexual acts. In the forensic
interview that followed, M. D. repeated these same or similar
the ensuing investigation by law enforcement, Douglas's
cellular phone was searched, and ten pornographic videos were
discovered in which adults engaged in various sexual acts.
These videos were downloaded to the phone between March and
May 2011. Law enforcement also discovered two .pdf files of
fictional stories downloaded from a child-sex-stories
website, which graphically described raping girls five years
old and younger. These stories were downloaded to the phone
in May 2011.
trial, Douglas's then ex-girlfriend testified that during
the time period in question, Douglas had admitted to her that
he would watch pornographic videos on his phone while away at
his job as a truck driver. And Douglas, who testified in his
own defense, also admitted to downloading pornographic videos
to his phone, although he denied having knowledge about the
child-rape stories, engaging in sexual acts with M. D., or
showing M. D. pornographic videos.
jury convicted Douglas of child molestation for "viewing
a pornographic video with [M. D.] with the intent to arouse
and satisfy [his] sexual desires . . . ." He was
acquitted of a charge of child molestation based upon an
allegation that he placed his penis on M. D.'s vagina.
And the jury was hung as to a count of child molestation
based upon an allegation that he placed his hand on M.
D.'s vagina. This appeal follows the denial of
Douglas's motion for new trial, which was filed after the
trial court granted his motion for an out-of-time appeal.
Douglas first argues that the trial court abused its
discretion by failing to excuse a prospective juror for cause
after that juror expressed bias against him. We disagree.
well established that before a juror can be disqualified for
cause, "it must be shown that an opinion held by the
potential juror is so fixed and definite that the juror will
be unable to set the opinion aside and decide the case based
upon the evidence or the court's charge upon the
evidence." And the decision to strike a juror for
cause "lies within the sound discretion of the trial
court, and that decision will not be disturbed absent an
abuse of discretion."
Douglas contends that the trial court abused its discretion
by failing to strike a prospective juror who volunteered that
he would feel uncomfortable serving as a juror because he was
the father of "two young daughters." When pressed
on the matter, the prospective juror agreed with the
statement that, "whether or not [Douglas] did anything,
" he would have "negative feelings for [Douglas]
just because [M. D.] had to come and testify." The
prospective juror further agreed that "just the fact
that [M. D.] [would] have to come and testify, irrespective
of whether [Douglas] did what they say he did, [his] sympathy
for the child [was] going to bleed over into some negative
feelings against [Douglas] just because [M. D.] had to come
[to court]." The prospective juror then explained that
because he also had a granddaughter, "it will be very
hard because [they are] about the same age."
defense counsel continued to question the prospective juror
as to whether or not he would be able to put his feelings
aside, the juror responded that "it would be very hard
being impartial because . . . it's hard to hear a kid
talking and-the innocence of a child is very powerful."
Defense counsel then asked if the prospective juror would
"hold it against [Douglas], it doesn't matter what
the evidence is that comes out, just the fact that
there's been a charge and [M. D.] had to come here, that
is going to sway you to some degree or another?" To
this, the prospective juror responded as follows (with
intermittent interruptions by defense counsel, as denoted by
ellipses): "What I'm saying is. . . . Well, now, let
me be clear. . . . You know if the proof is different, I
would have to go with that, but, you know, it will be harder.
. . . -you know, to come to that part, especially when, you
know, you have a kid here."
the defense moved to strike the prospective juror for cause,
the trial court denied the motion because the court
determined that the juror "indicated that [M. D.
testifying] would cause him some discomfort, but that he
could listen to the evidence, and depend[ ] on what the
evidence reflected . . . ." As the trial court
determined, the record reflects that the juror was willing to
consider the evidence and knew that "if the proof [was]
different" he would "have to go with that, "
although he admitted that doing so would be more difficult
due to the fact that a child would testify, i.e.,
due to the nature of the crime as involving a child victim.
And we have previously held that a juror who "expresses
a willingness to try to be objective and whose bias arises
from feelings about the particular crime as opposed to
feelings about the accused may be eligible for
service." Thus, under these particular
circumstances, we cannot say that the trial court manifestly
abused its discretion in failing to strike the prospective
juror for cause.
Finally, Douglas contends that the trial court abused its
discretion by failing to allow him to question the
victim's mother as to her own previous false allegation
of child molestation. Once again, we disagree.
we note that because this case was tried after January 1,
2013, our new Evidence Code applies. And OCGA § 24-6-608
provides "very specific, limited methods for attacking
or supporting the credibility of a witness by evidence in the
form of opinion or reputation." Indeed, under that portion
of the statute,
[t]he credibility of a witness may be attacked or supported
by evidence in the form of opinion or reputation, subject to