Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jackson v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fifth Division

February 20, 2018

JACKSON
v.
THE STATE.

          MCFADDEN, P. J., BRANCH and BETHEL, JJ.

          MCFADDEN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         After a jury trial, Quanta Jackson was convicted of two counts of child molestation and one count of theft by taking. He challenges the sufficiency of the evidence as to one of the counts of child molestation, in which he was alleged to have masturbated in front of his 13-year-old stepson, J. B., but the evidence authorized the conviction. He also argues that his trial counsel was ineffective, but he has not shown that his counsel performed deficiently. So we affirm.

         1. Sufficiency of the evidence.

         On appeal, in considering a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence,

we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, with the defendant no longer enjoying a presumption of innocence. We neither weigh the evidence nor judge the credibility of witnesses, but determine only 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.

Carter v. State, ___ Ga.App. ___ (805 S.E.2d 924) (Case No. A17A0860, decided Oct. 23, 2017) (citations and punctuation omitted).

         So viewed, the evidence showed that on the morning of October 31, 2013, Jackson suggested to J. B. that the boy stay home from school. J. B.'s mother was not home at the time. After placing blankets over the windows of their apartment, Jackson showed J. B. a pornographic video of a man and a woman having sexual intercourse and told the boy that he was going to show him how to masturbate. Jackson then pulled out his penis and began stroking himself. He told J. B. to remove his shirt and begin masturbating, too. Jackson also pulled J. B.'s pants down, placed his hand over the boy's hand, and moved the boy's hand up and down on the boy's penis. J. B. was afraid and, after telling Jackson that he felt uncomfortable, he put his clothes on and left the apartment for school.

         That afternoon, a visibly shaken J. B. told his mother what had happened with Jackson. J. B.'s mother called Jackson at his workplace, a hotel where Jackson worked as a front desk clerk. Jackson apologized repeatedly, stated that he did not "mean to do it, " offered to leave, and asked the boy's mother not to call the police. J. B.'s mother hung up on Jackson and called the boy's father, who went to confront Jackson at the hotel. When J. B.'s father arrived, Jackson had disappeared and money was missing from the hotel's two cash drawers and a cash box.

         Later that evening, J. B. gave a forensic interview to a police officer, in which he described what Jackson had done. That night, J. B. also discussed with his father what had happened.

         The jury found Jackson guilty of two counts of child molestation, for masturbating in front of J. B. and for taking J. B.'s hand and moving it up and down on the boy's penis. The jury also found him guilty of theft by taking of the money from the hotel. The trial court entered judgment on the verdict and denied Jackson's motion for new trial.

         Jackson challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction of child molestation for masturbating in front of J. B., but we find no merit in this claim of error. A person commits the offense of child molestation, among other ways, by doing "any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person[.]" OCGA § 16-6-4 (a) (1). Evidence that a defendant masturbated in a child's presence can support a child molestation conviction. See Klausen v. State, 294 Ga.App. 463, 464-465 (1) (669 S.E.2d 460) (2008).

         Jackson argues that the evidence was insufficient because, at trial, J. B. testified that he closed his eyes when Jackson pulled out his penis. But it was not necessary for J. B. to actually see Jackson masturbate, so long as that act occurred in his presence. See Klausen, 294 Ga.App. at 464-465 (no authority "requires the child to observe the entire act" and a defendant's action of masturbating in the presence of a child is "no less culpable because the child may not have been fully aware of what was occurring") (citations and punctuation omitted). Although J. B. did not testify at trial that he saw Jackson masturbate - but instead testified that he closed his eyes - there was evidence from which the jury could infer that Jackson masturbated in the boy's presence. J. B. testified that, immediately before he closed his eyes, Jackson pulled his pants down, took out his penis, and told the boy that he would show him how to masturbate. And J. B. made an earlier statement that Jackson had masturbated: J. B.'s mother testified that the boy told her Jackson had "pulled out his private area and started stroking himself." To the extent J. B.'s trial testimony was inconsistent with that earlier statement, the jury was entitled to credit the boy's earlier statement. See Little v. State, 262 Ga.App. 377, 378 (a) (585 S.E.2d 677) (2003) (differences between victim's earlier statement to police and his trial testimony "simply present[ed] a credibility determination for the trier of fact").

         2. Assistance ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.