MCFADDEN, P. J., BRANCH and BETHEL, JJ.
Michael Tezeno appeals from the trial court's denial of his
motion for a new trial after a jury convicted him on two
counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of sodomy,
one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes, and one
count of solicitation of sodomy. On appeal, Tezeno enumerates
three errors. First, Tezeno argues that there was
insufficient evidence to support his convictions for enticing
a child for indecent purposes and solicitation of sodomy.
Second, he argues that his trial counsel was ineffective in
several regards, namely in failing to obtain records relating
to a State witness's prior felony conviction that could
have been used for impeachment, failing to challenge
testimony regarding Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome
(CSAAS) offered by a State expert, and failing to obtain
evidence that could have been used to impeach State witnesses
who offered similar-transaction evidence against Tezeno.
Finally, he argues that the trial court erred by allowing the
State to introduce certain similar-transactions evidence at
trial. We hold that the evidence presented by the State was
sufficient to support Tezeno's convictions for enticement
of a child for indecent purposes and for solicitation of
sodomy. However, we find that Tezeno received ineffective
assistance of counsel at trial. We therefore vacate his
convictions on all counts of the indictment and remand this
matter to the trial court for further proceedings consistent
with this opinion. We do not reach his final enumeration of
appeal, the defendant "is no longer presumed innocent
and all of the evidence is to be viewed in the light most
favorable to the jury verdict." Batten v.
State, 295 Ga. 442, 443 (1) (761 S.E.2d 70) (2014)
(citation omitted). So viewed, the evidence shows that the
victim in this case met and became friends with Tezeno, who
was his neighbor. The victim visited Tezeno's house
weekly, often with his siblings and other children in the
neighborhood, and performed paid yard work for Tezeno.
trial, the victim testified that, on one occasion, he
approached Tezeno and told him that he needed money. The
victim offered to allow Tezeno to perform oral sex on him in
exchange for money. Tezeno accepted this offer. Several days
later, the victim came to Tezeno's house and allowed
Tezeno to perform oral sex on him in the bedroom. Tezeno gave
the victim money the following day. The victim testified that
a similar incident occurred about a week later when the
victim again needed money. The victim was 14 years old at the
time of the incidents, and he testified that Tezeno was aware
of the victim's birthday and that he knew how old the
victim was and what grade he was in at school.
days later, on January 12, 2010, the victim complained of a
stomach ache, and his mother took him to the emergency room.
While there, the victim also complained of painful urination.
While he was awaiting treatment, the victim sent a text
message to his mother that said "Mike did something to
me." The mother had previously asked the victim if
Tezeno had "done something to him, " but the victim
denied that anything had happened. After further questioning
by his mother, the victim indicated that Tezeno "gave
him oral sex" on one occasion at Tezeno's home.
While still at the hospital, the victim also told a police
officer that an adult had performed oral sex on him. The
victim also told his treating physician that
"Michael" was the person who had performed oral sex
police investigator with the special victims unit testified
regarding a follow-up interview she conducted with the victim
after he reported the incidents with Tezeno. The investigator
indicated that the victim told her that
[O]riginally the suspect offered him or solicited to him if
he ever needed money he could perform oral sex on him for
money. I believe he said several days later he was willing to
participate with that, and he said-he told the suspect he
wanted to do a run, the "run, " which means he
wanted to do the oral sex for money. He said it happened
twice. The first time he got $15. The second time I just
remember him saying he didn't get the money. I'm not
sure if the suspect promised him money or not, I just
remember him saying he didn't get the money. He said the
two incidents happened within a few days apart, and it
happened while he was on break from Christmas, at school. He
was on Christmas break.
investigator also indicated that, in his interview with her,
the victim identified Tezeno as the person who had performed
oral sex on him.
State also presented testimony at trial from an expert in
forensic interviewing who had interviewed the victim after
his encounters with Tezeno. In addition to describing the
setting and procedure generally for conducting a forensic
interview with a child who reports some type of sexual crime,
the expert testified regarding her interview of the victim.
She noted that the victim seemed nervous, embarrassed, and
ashamed during the interview. A video recording of the
interview was then played for the jury, in which the victim
recalled his encounters with Tezeno. In that interview, the
victim indicated to the interviewer that he had told Tezeno
that he needed money and that he "would do that for
him." The interviewer asked, "You said that he
asked you to do something, and then one day you needed some
money, and you told him you would do it for the money? What
did he ask you to do?" The victim replied, "He told
me 'let me give you some oral sex.'" The victim
indicated that Tezeno had previously told him that "that
was available if you needed some money." The victim then
told the interviewer that he later "came up to [Tezeno]
and said I needed some money" and that he "wanted
to do the run for some money." The victim stated that
after he let Tezeno perform oral sex on him he later received
$ 15 from Tezeno. He indicated in the interview that he later
let Tezeno perform oral sex on him for a second time but that
Tezeno did not pay him on that occasion. Regarding the second
act, the victim did not make a specific request for money,
but he indicated in his interview that he expected to receive
money from Tezeno because "that's what he said
before. That's what I was told before. I wasn't doing
it just to be doing it."
victim's mother testified that, in the weeks after the
victim reported his encounters with Tezeno at the hospital,
the victim's behavior changed "drastically."
She stated that he had been suspended from school several
times for disobedience and fighting, that he withdrew from
his friends, and that he became resentful and rebellious. She
testified that before these incidents the victim had been
outgoing, that he regularly participated in activities and
sports with friends, and that he had not been prone to
fighting or been suspended from school, although he did
regularly skip school.
a hearing, the trial court permitted the State to present
similar-transactions testimony from three witnesses regarding
prior incidents in which Tezeno had been accused of molesting
a minor child. The first witness testified regarding a
complaint she filed with police after an incident in
September 2004 at Tezeno's house where he allegedly
"touched" her son "on his private part."
The alleged victim was eight years old at the time the
incident was reported.
testimony before the jury, the alleged victim of this
incident stated that Tezeno had touched his penis in the
bathroom after Tezeno had been in the shower with him while
unclothed. He also testified that, on another occasion, while
he was traveling to New Orleans with Tezeno, Tezeno unzipped
his pants and began masturbating while he was driving a
vehicle. The alleged victim was eight years old when this
incident occurred and was seated in the passenger seat of the
vehicle while Tezeno masturbated. He also recalled a third
incident in which he observed Tezeno masturbating and
eventually ejaculating in Tezeno's home. He said that
Tezeno knew he could see him masturbating because "we
both looked at each other."
State also called the police detective who had interviewed
the mother and the alleged victim to discuss his
investigation of the incidents offered as similar transaction
evidence. He said that Tezeno denied the allegations made
against him but told the detective that he may have
"bumped" the alleged victim's penis while
helping him dry off after a shower and while applying mineral
oil to his body.
State called, as its final witness, the district
attorney's director of forensic services. She was
tendered as an expert in forensic interviewing of children
and child sexual abuse evaluation and treatment. Tezeno made
no objection to her designation as an expert. Her testimony
focused on CSAAS, which she stated was based on the theory
that a child victim of sexual abuse may display certain
characteristics such as secrecy, helplessness, withdrawal, or
entrapment that may indicate that the child has been the
victim of abuse. She stated that these feelings may lead a
child victim to not disclose incidents of abuse, at least in
part, because of a fear that he or she may get into trouble.
She also stated that children in this situation will
"oftentimes . . . begin to act out because in the act of
a sexual abuse case, children oftentimes are helpless and do
not have that sense of control." She stated that
children in these circumstances will often have "issues
in school with grades, or teachers, acting out... because
that is what they can control." She went on to discuss
what she described as common child reactions to incidents of
sexual abuse, speaking particularly as to how adolescent boys
react to such incidents. She also described factors that may
lead a child to delay disclosure of incidents of abuse or to
forget or omit details about such incidents when reporting
them. She also discussed the process of "grooming"
whereby a perpetrator of sexual abuse may "get their
victim to a place to be okay with the abuse" by slowly
offered only minimal cross-examination of this witness,
asking the witness only two substantive questions: "What
you have done today is just tell us about child abuse in
various types and ways that happen[s] and the ways it gets
reported?" and "You have not told us anything else,
have you? You have not told us about [the victim]?"
conclusion of the expert's testimony, the State rested.
After being advised of his rights by the trial court, Tezeno