BARNES, P. J., MERCIER and BROWN, JJ.
a jury trial, Kenneth Charles Lewis was convicted of child
molestation, rape, and two counts of aggravated sodomy in
connection with the repeated sexual abuse of his then
fourteen-year-old step-daughter. On appeal, Lewis argues that
the trial court erred in denying his amended motion for new
trial because (1) the verdict was contrary to law, justice,
equity, and the evidence and without evidence to support it
and (2) trial counsel provided ineffective assistance for a
number of reasons. Lewis also appeals the denial of his
motion for testing of evidence. For the reasons that follow,
we find no error and affirm.
"On appeal from a criminal conviction, a defendant no
longer enjoys the presumption of innocence, and the evidence
is viewed in the light most favorable to the guilty
verdict." (Citation and punctuation omitted.)
Anderson v. State, 348 Ga.App. 322 (822 S.E.2d 684)
(2018). So viewed, the evidence adduced at trial shows that
Lewis served 25 years in prison after being sentenced to two
life sentences for murder and armed robbery. After being
paroled and released, Lewis met the victim's mother
online, and he moved into the home where the victim lived
with her mother. Lewis and the victim's mother married in
2010. Sometime during the summer of 2011, Lewis exposed
himself to the victim, then began touching her over her
clothing, and eventually, under her clothing. The touching
escalated to vaginal, anal, and oral penetration. The victim
testified that she was frightened of Lewis because he told
her he had decapitated a man. In addition, if the victim
refused Lewis' advances, he would slam doors and
"kick the animals."
victim first disclosed the abuse to a friend. Subsequently,
the victim and the friend were alone at Lewis' workplace
when Lewis inappropriately touched the friend in front of the
victim. Lewis stopped when the friend began to cry and the
victim yelled at him. Lewis' abuse continued regularly
until 2014, when Lewis started drinking himself to sleep
every night and the victim's mother divorced him.
Lewis and the victim's mother divorced in 2014, the
victim revealed to her mother that Lewis had sexually abused
her. The mother contacted police, and an investigator spoke
with the victim at her home with her mother present. During
two forensic interviews, the victim disclosed and described
Lewis' regular and repeated sexual abuse. The victim also
underwent a physical examination, which did not yield any
injuries or unusual findings. However, the examining
physician testified that it was not surprising for the victim
to have a normal exam six months after any trauma occurred.
Lewis testified at trial and denied all of the allegations.
Although Lewis does not dispute the sufficiency of the
evidence, we conclude that it was sufficient to authorize a
rational jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Lewis
was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted. See
Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (III) (B) (99
S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
several enumerations of error, Lewis argues that the trial
court erred in denying his amended motion for new trial
because the verdict was "contrary to law, justice, and
equity," and "contrary to the evidence and without
evidence to support it." See OCGA § 5-5-20.
However, the power to grant a new trial on the general
grounds lies with the trial court alone. See Celestin v.
State, 296 Ga.App. 727 (1) (675 S.E.2d 480) (2009).
Trial courts have discretion to grant a new trial on these
grounds - commonly known as the "general grounds"-
but appellate courts do not. Our review is limited to the
legal sufficiency of the evidence. Indeed, even when asked to
review a trial court's refusal to grant a new trial on
the general grounds, this Court must review the case under
the standard set forth in Jackson v. Virginia. . . .
(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Plez v. State,
300 Ga. 505, 507 (1), n.2 (796 S.E.2d 704) (2017). As we
explained in Division 1, supra, the evidence in this case
meets the standard for legal sufficiency.
Lewis next argues that his trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance for a number of reasons.
To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel,
[Lewis] must show that trial counsel's performance was so
deficient that it fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness, and that counsel's deficient performance
prejudiced the defense such that a reasonable probability
exists that the trial results would have been different but
for counsel's performance. Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (II) (104 S.Ct. 2052, 80
L.Ed.2d 674) (1984).
Bragg v. State, 295 Ga. 676, 678 (4) (763 S.E.2d
476) (2014). "Trial tactics and strategy, no matter how
mistaken in hindsight, are almost never adequate grounds for
finding trial counsel ineffective unless they are so patently
unreasonable that no competent attorney would have chosen
them." (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Brown v.
State, 321 Ga.App. 765, 767 (1) (743 S.E.2d 452) (2013).
Lewis argues trial counsel was ineffective by not pursuing
avenues of potentially exculpatory evidence. Shortly before
trial began, a defense investigator gave trial counsel a
report noting that Lewis claimed he had scarring on his
testicles from surgery and that his ejaculate contained
blood. Neither the State nor the defense brought up this
information at trial. According to Lewis, trial counsel
should have "explored whether [these] claims were true,
and if so, whether any of the State's witnesses[,
including the victim, ] were capable of verifying
[this]." We first note that the investigator's
report to which Lewis refers is not included in the record
before this Court. Nevertheless, assuming the report states
what Lewis claims, we find no merit in his argument.
questioned about the report during the motion for new trial
hearing, trial counsel testified that even if Lewis'
claims could have been verified and he had questioned the
victim about the scarring and bloody ...