Atkins appeals the denial of his motion for a directed
verdict on a statutory rape charge, arguing the trial court
erred when it found sufficient corroborating evidence. Atkins
further argues that the trial court erred in denying his
motion for a new trial because the trial court wrongly
applied the Rape Shield Statute. We disagree and affirm the
denial of his motions for a directed verdict and for a new
On appeal from a criminal conviction, we view the evidence in
the light most favorable to the verdict and an appellant no
longer enjoys the presumption of innocence. This Court
determines whether the evidence is sufficient under the
standard of Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99
S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979), and does not weigh the
evidence or determine witness credibility. Any conflicts or
inconsistencies in the evidence are for the jury to resolve.
As long as there is some competent evidence, even though
contradicted, to support each fact necessary to make out the
State's case, we must uphold the jury's verdict.
Traylor v. State, 332 Ga.App. 441, 442 (773 S.E.2d
403) (2015) (citation omitted).
viewed, the evidence shows that in November 2010, A. O.'s
mother learned that A. O. was pregnant after taking her to a
gynecologist. Following the appointment, A. O.'s mother
discussed the pregnancy with A. O., who was thirteen years
old at the time. A. O. was asked who fathered the child, and
she told her mother that the father was a "boy in the
neighborhood." A. O.'s mother called Leon
Surles to inform him about the pregnancy. Surles
did not believe A. O.'s explanation and, at some point,
threatened to give her a lie detector test.
returning home from school, A. O. called Atkins and his wife
and told them she was pregnant by Atkins. Following this
conversation, Atkins called Surles and told him that A. O.
had called and that she planned to tell Surles she was
pregnant with Atkins' child so that she could have an
abortion. Atkins denied both paternity and sexual contact
with A. O. in his conversation with Surles. Surles told A.
O.'s mother about the call with Atkins.
then spoke with A. O. and threatened to "beat her"
and "take her to the police" if she did not tell
the truth about the paternity of her child. A. O.'s
mother told A. O. that she knew Atkins had fathered the
child, and A. O. said that was true. A. O.'s mother then
reported the incident to police.
was interviewed by law enforcement personnel and reported two
alleged incidents with Atkins in which he engaged in sexual
acts with her. A. O. stated that Atkins was the only
possible father of her child because she had not been
sexually active immediately prior to or after the August 2010
incident with Atkins.
had an abortion on November 27, 2010, and a search warrant
for the DNA of the fetus was executed. Results of the DNA
test showed that Atkins was not the father of A. O.'s
Atkins was indicted on charges of statutory rape and
aggravated child molestation. At trial, Atkins maintained his
innocence and argued that A. O. identified him as the father
to conceal the child's true paternity. Atkins sought to
question A. O. about the identity of the true father for the
purpose of demonstrating A. O.'s motive to falsely accuse
Atkins. The trial court, relying on the Rape Shield Statute,
did not allow that line of questioning. A jury found Atkins
guilty on both counts. Following the verdict, Atkins moved for a
new trial, which the trial court denied. This appeal
trial court found there was sufficient evidence from which
the jury could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Atkins
was guilty of statutory rape. However, Atkins contends the
trial court erred in denying his motion for directed verdict
on the charge of statutory rape because the evidence was
insufficient to corroborate A. O.'s
allegations. We disagree.
§ 16-6-3 (a) provides that "[a] person commits the
offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual
intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not
his or her spouse, provided that no conviction shall be had
for this offense on the unsupported testimony of the
appeal, our review is restricted to the legal sufficiency of
the evidence not the weight of the evidence." Carson
v. State, 171 Ga.App. 527, 528 (320 S.E.2d 382) (1984).
"If there is any corroborating evidence, we will not go
behind the jury and pass upon its probative value."
McClendon v. State, 187 Ga.App. 666, 668 (371 S.E.2d
139) (1988) (citation omitted).
This Court has held that the quantum of corroboration needed
in a statutory rape case is not that which is, itself,
sufficient to convict, but only that amount of independent
evidence which tends to prove that the incident occurred as
alleged. Slight circumstances may be sufficient corroboration
and ultimately the question of corroboration is one for the
jury. In that regard, a victim's prior consistent
statements, in the form of her outcry to others as testified
to by them, may constitute sufficient corroboration in a case
of statutory rape.
Byrd v. State, 258 Ga.App. 572, 573 (574 S.E.2d 655)
(2002) (footnotes and punctuation omitted).
response to Atkins' motion for directed verdict, the
State argued the allegations against Atkins were corroborated
by the fact that (1) Atkins called Surles to tell him that A.
O. was going to say Atkins was the baby's father; and (2)
A. O. called Atkins and told him she was pregnant with his
baby. We are unpersuaded that either statement provides
the evidence shows that, some time after learning she was
pregnant, A. O. called Atkins and his wife and told them she
was pregnant with Atkins' child. That statement-which was
proven to be false- cannot be used to corroborate her
Court is equally unpersuaded by the argument that Atkins'
call to Surles corroborated A. O.'s allegations because
Atkins never admitted guilt. Surles testified that Atkins
called him and said, "A. O. was going to tell [Surles]
she was pregnant by [Atkins] so she can get an
abortion." Surles also testified that, during that same
conversation, Atkins denied A. O.'s allegations. The
State's assertion that by calling Surles and denying the
allegations, Atkins implicated himself and corroborated A.
O.'s testimony, is nonsensical. The record before this
Court is devoid of any evidence wherein Atkins admits to
having sexual or intimate contact with A. O. that would meet
the corroboration threshold.
brief, the State also asserts that A. O.'s trial
testimony was consistent with her initial report to police
and statements she ...