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State v. Skinner

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District

January 15, 2004

The State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Brian E. Skinner, Defendant-Appellant.

T. Kenneth Lee, Office of Ohio Public Defender, Columbus, Ohio, for appellant.

Alison L. Cauthorn, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Marietta, Ohio for appellee.



{¶1} Brian E. Skinner appeals the Washington County Court of Common Pleas' sentencing entry. Skinner contends that the trial court erred when it imposed consecutive sentences because the record shows that he (1) lived a law-abiding life for a significant number of years, (2) posed the lowest likelihood of re-offending, and (3) is remorseful. We disagree because the trial court at the sentencing hearing made its required findings and gave sufficient reasons to support those findings as required by R.C. 2929.14(E)(4) and R.C. 2929.19(B)(2)(c). State v. Comer, 99 Ohio St.3d 463, 2003-Ohio-4165, paragraph one of the syllabus. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


{¶2} The grand jury indicted Skinner on two counts of corruption of a minor (felonies of the fourth degree), violations of R.C. 2907.04 and three counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor (felonies of the second degree), violations of R.C. 2907.322(A)(1), (A)(2), and (C). Skinner entered a plea of guilty to all five counts. He admitted that he took pictures of his fourteen-year-old first cousin in various sexual positions and used alcohol and cigarettes to reward him for those pictures. The trial court found him guilty, ordered a pre-sentence investigation ("PSI") along with a victim impact statement and set the matter for a sexual offender status and sentencing hearing.

{¶3} At the hearing, the trial court first found that Skinner was a sexually oriented offender, instead of a sexual predator. Then, the trial court moved on to sentencing Skinner.

{¶4} The trial court sentenced Skinner to one year in prison for each of the two counts of corrupting a minor and four years in prison for each of the three counts of pandering obscenity. The trial court made the sentences consecutive except for one of the corruption of a minor offenses, which it made concurrent to the other four counts. Skinner received a total definite prison term of thirteen years.

{¶5} At the sentencing hearing, the trial court made R.C. 2929.14(E) findings for consecutive sentences. The court found that consecutive sentences "are necessary to protect the public from future crime and to punish the Defendant, * * * are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the Defendant's conduct and the danger he poses to the public[, ] * * * and that the harm caused was great or unusual and no single prison term for any offense committed -- was committed as a single part of a single course of conduct, and therefore, adequately reflects the seriousness of the defendant's conduct[.]"

{¶6} At that hearing, the trial court reviewed the facts and later incorporated those facts by reference as his reasons for giving consecutive sentences. The court noted that Skinner has two prior convictions for domestic violence; he provided the victim with alcohol and tobacco, both illegal substances for a minor; he does show appropriate remorse; he seemed to minimize his conduct by portraying the victim as setting him up and trying to blackmail him; he was law-abiding for a significant number of years; he is community-oriented; he is thirty-eight (38) years old and the victim is now 15; the victim suffered psychological harm and is in counseling; he and the victim are first cousins; some organization was involved because other people were contacted on the internet and brought to the victim; and the course of conduct involved selling and buying pornography and transporting it over the internet involving some people under the age of eighteen.

{¶7} The court read the sheriffs office interview with the victim from the PSI.

[The victim's] position was that he had been raped or molested between 20 to 30 times by his cousin, the Defendant, and the co-Defendant, Mr. Fox, who we sentenced earlier here.
He indicated that Mr. Fox purchased alcohol and cigarettes for him, and that after they went back to Fox's and the Defendant's apartment, he became -- the victim -- intoxicated, consumed eight to nine beers and then there was a sexual molestation that occurred there that is described in some detail.
He also says he had anal sex with them, and he named several different individuals that were adults that occurred in this Defendant's home. He says they also had ...

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