DILLARD, P. J., GOBEIL and HODGES, JJ.
a jury trial, Kristin Matthew Ward was convicted of child
molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes
("child enticement"). The trial court denied Ward's
motion for new trial, as twice amended, for the conviction of
these offenses. On appeal, Ward contends that (1) the trial
evidence failed to prove venue for the child enticement
offense; (2) his trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance by failing to object to testimony that
impermissibly bolstered the victim's credibility and
invaded the province of the jury; and (3) his trial counsel
rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object to the
State's possession and use of his compelled statements
pursuant to Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493, 500
(87 S.Ct. 616, 17 L.Ed.2d 562) (1967). For the reasons set
forth below, we discern no merit in Ward's contention
that the State failed to prove venue and his claims of
improper bolstering. But we must remand this case to the
trial court for an evidentiary hearing and the entry of an
order with factual findings and conclusions to address
Ward's alleged Garrity violation.
in the light most favorable to the verdict,  the trial
evidence shows that in 2010, the male victim, G. W., and his
twin brother joined the Civil Air Patrol ("CAP")
when they were 12 or 13 years old and in middle school. They
attended weekly meetings in CAP, where they learned about
airplanes, drills, physical training, and proper dress. While
at CAP, G. W. and his brother met Ward, who held a
supervisory position in the program. Ward also was a law
enforcement officer with the Athens-Clarke County Police
became close friends with G. W. and his family, and Ward
began to spend time with G. W. and his brother outside of CAP
activities. G. W. described that he and Ward had a
mentor-mentee relationship in the beginning, and later, their
relationship developed into "an older brother-younger
brother kind of a dynamic." Sometimes, G. W. and his
brother spent time with Ward at Ward's apartment two or
three times per week. Ward would take the boys to lunch or
dinner, take them on hikes at a park near his apartment, and
take them to his apartment, where they would watch movies and
play video games. Ward also bought the boys gifts. In
addition, Ward accompanied the boys on two vacations to
Savannah, Georgia and San Francisco, California.
would drive G. W. and his brother from their outings to
Ward's apartment. On several occasions, G. W. and his
brother would spend the night with Ward at Ward's
apartment. While watching television in Ward's living
room, G. W.'s brother typically would sit on the floor in
front of the television, while Ward and G. W. would sit
together on the sofa approximately six feet behind G.
W.'s brother. Most of the time, it was dark in the living
room and the lights were off.
testified that Ward molested him almost every time that he
went to Ward's apartment. Specifically, G. W. stated that
during several incidents while he was sitting on Ward's
living room sofa, Ward rubbed G. W.'s penis both on top
of and underneath G. W.'s clothes. Ward described that
during each incident, Ward pulled G. W.'s clothes down to
his knees and rubbed G. W.'s penis until G. W.
ejaculated. G. W.'s brother testified that although he
was unable to see exactly what Ward and G. W. were doing, he
would see Ward and G. W. "fidget[ing] around" on
the sofa on a couple of occasions. Ward placed a blanket or
pillow over himself and G. W. to shield the molestation
activities from G. W.'s brother's view.
stated that he felt terrible about the molestation. At some
point, G. W. decided that he no longer wanted to be around
Ward. G. W. stopped attending CAP events and stopped
communicating with Ward. G. W.'s brother noticed tension
between G. W. and Ward. When Ward was present, G. W. did not
talk as much and stayed away from Ward. G. W. became
depressed and isolated himself.
W. was 15 or 16 years old and in the tenth grade, G. W. first
told his best friend about the molestation incidents.
Thereafter, G. W.'s brother invited Ward to attend their
18th birthday party, which made G. W. feel uncomfortable.
Shortly before the birthday party, G. W. disclosed the
molestation incidents to his parents, and Ward's
invitation to the party was rescinded.
G. W.'s disclosure to his parents, G. W. underwent
psychological counseling and the molestation incidents were
reported to police. A GBI agent was assigned to investigate
the allegations. An Internal Affairs investigation of the
molestation allegations simultaneously was being conducted by
the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
participated in a recorded forensic interview, during which
he described the molestation incidents. Following the GBI
investigation, Ward was charged with the child molestation
and child enticement sexual offenses. And after a trial, an
Athens-Clarke County jury found Ward guilty of those
his first enumeration of error, Ward contends that the trial
evidence failed to prove venue for the offense of enticing a
child for indecent purposes.
Venue is a jurisdictional fact that the State must prove
beyond a reasonable doubt and can do so by direct or
circumstantial evidence. Determining whether venue has been
established is an issue soundly within the province of the
jury. When examining whether the State has carried its
burden, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to
the verdict and must sustain the verdict if the evidence was
sufficient to permit a rational trier of fact to find beyond
a reasonable doubt that the crime was committed in the county
where the defendant was indicted.
Hernandez v. State, 304 Ga. 895, 898 (2) (823 S.E.2d
272) (2019) (citations and punctuation omitted).
child enticement offense occurs when a person "solicits,
entices or takes"a child under 16 years of age
to any place for the purpose of child molestation or indecent
acts. OCGA § 16-6-5 (a) (emphasis supplied). Where
"there is ample evidence of defendant's
taking the victim in his motor vehicle to a place
for the purpose of indecent acts[, ] it is immaterial whether
there is also evidence of defendant's enticing, inviting,
or persuading the victim to go with him."Dennis v.
State, 158 Ga.App. 142, 142 (2) (279 S.E.2d 275) (1981)
(emphasis in original). The offense also requires
asportation, which is established when the evidence shows
only slight or minimal movement of the child. Tudor v.
State, 320 Ga.App. 487, 491 (2) (740 S.E.2d 231) (2013).
case, the indictment alleged that Ward committed the offense
by taking G. W., who was under 16 years of age at the time,
to Ward's apartment for the purpose of molesting and
performing indecent acts upon G. W. The GBI agent testified
that the offenses occurred in Athens-Clarke County. The trial
evidence further showed that during the commission of the
child enticement offense, Ward drove G. W. to Ward's
apartment located in Athens-Clarke County. This evidence was
sufficient to establish venue as alleged in the indictment.
See Harris v. State, 333 Ga.App. 118, 120-121 (1)
(b) (775 S.E.2d 602) (2015) (evidence showing that defendant
moved the victim to defendant's house in Clayton County
was sufficient to establish venue for the enticement offense
under OCGA § 16-6-5 (a), as alleged in the indictment).
nevertheless relies upon Cornelius v. State, 213
Ga.App. 766, 768 (1) (445 S.E.2d 800) (1994), for the
proposition that "venue for the prosecution of enticing
a child for immoral purposes lies in the county where the
child was first enticed." Although Ward contends that G.
W. was first enticed or taken from G. W.'s residence in
Oconee County, the evidence does not demand such a
conclusion. Rather, the evidence shows that Ward took
G. W. to Ward's apartment where the molestation acts
occurred on many occasions. The trial evidence showed that G.
W. went to Ward's apartment two or three times each
month, and sometimes two or three times per week. The
evidence also indicated that Ward drove G. W. to Ward's
apartment from locations other than G. W.'s
home. The child enticement crime is complete
when the child is taken with the requisite intent. Adams
v. State, 312 Ga.App. 570, 578 (3) (b) (718 S.E.2d 899)
(2011). Based on the trial evidence, the jury was authorized
to find that the requisite asportation with intent occurred
when Ward took G. W. from a park that they visited in
Athens-Clarke County to Ward's apartment. Alternatively,
the jury was authorized to find that the requisite
asportation with intent occurred in Ward's vehicle while
in transit to Ward's apartment. When a crime occurs in
transit, the crime shall be considered as having been
committed in any county through which the vehicle has
traveled. See OCGA § 17-2-2 (e); Aldridge v.
State, 310 Ga.App. 502, 504 (1) (a) (713 S.E.2d 682)
(2011) (applying OCGA § 17-2-2 (e) to establish venue
when defendant transported the victim in a vehicle during the
commission of the crime). Similarly, if a crime occurs in
more than one county and it cannot be determined in what
county a crime was committed, "it shall be considered to
have been committed in any county in which the evidence shows
beyond a reasonable doubt that it might have been
committed." OCGA § 17-2-2 (h). Cf. Epps v.
State, 297 Ga.App. 66, 69-70 (1) (676 S.E.2d 791) (2009)
(applying OCGA § 17-2-2 (e) and (h) to establish venue
when the precise moment when the victim was transported by
vehicle and the exact moment when the victim's abduction
satisfied the asportation requirement could not be determined
with certainty). Contrary to Ward's arguments, the trial
evidence sufficiently established venue in Athens-Clarke
County. See OCGA § 17-2-2 (e); Harris, 333
Ga.App. at 120-121 (1) (b).
also contends that trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance by failing to object to testimony that improperly
bolstered the victim's credibility and improperly invaded
the province of the jury.
To prevail on his claim of ineffective assistance of trial
counsel, [Ward] must show both that his counsel's
performance was deficient and that the deficient performance
so prejudiced him that, but for the deficiency, there is a
reasonable probability that the outcome of the trial would
have been different. In reviewing a claim of ineffective
assistance, we give deference to the trial court's
factual findings and credibility determinations unless
clearly erroneous, but we review a trial court's legal
conclusions de novo.
It is well established that a witness, even an expert, can
never bolster the credibility of another witness as to
whether the witness is telling the truth. Credibility of a
witness is not beyond the ken of the jurors but, to the
contrary, is a matter solely within the province of the jury.
Gilmer v. State, 339 Ga.App. 593, 594-595 (2) (a)
(794 S.E.2d 653) (2016) (citations and punctuation omitted).
Applying these standards, we ...