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State v. Crawford

December 2, 2008

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
BRIAN A. CRAWFORD DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



CHARACTER OF PROCEEDING: Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common. Pleas, Case No. 07 CR 411D.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wise, J.

JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

OPINION

JUDGMENT: Affirmed

{¶1} Defendant-Appellant Brian A. Crawford appeals his conviction entered in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas following a no contest plea.

{¶2} Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶3} The charges in this case involved the alleged sexual abuse by Defendant-Appellant of his two stepdaughters: Jessica and Brianna. The period of time alleged in the indictment as to when the sexual conduct took place was January 1, 1999, until April 25, 2005, with respect to Jessica, and with respect to Brianna, the time frame was from January 1, 2001, to on or about March 5, 2007.

{¶4} There were a total of 6 children in the Crawford household. Stacy Crawford's oldest child was Jessica, and her second oldest child was Brianna. Both of these children were from fathers different from Brian Crawford, both of whom were deceased. The other children living in the home included Brandy, who was Mr. Crawford's child from a previous relationship, and three other younger children born as a result of the relationship between Defendant-Appellant and Stacy Crawford, those children being Mikalah, Brooklyn and Owen.

{¶5} Brianna claims that Defendant-Appellant began to sexually abuse her when she was seven years old, while the family lived at 286 South Main Street in Mansfield, Ohio. The family was packing to move into their new home in Crestline when Defendant-Appellant called Brianna into his room. She claims that he exposed himself to her, told her to take off her clothes and touched her vaginal area and breasts. (T. at 309). Several weeks to a month later, while the family still lived in Mansfield, Defendant-Appellant molested Brianna again, rubbing his penis against her vagina. (T. at 309-310).

{¶6} In October, 2002, the family moved to 114 North Wiley Street in Crestline, Ohio, where the sexual abuse continued. According to Brianna, shortly after they moved, Defendant-Appellant began engaging in sexual intercourse with her on a weekly basis. (T. at 307-308). If Brianna was unable to have intercourse because she was on her period, Defendant-Appellant forced her to perform fellatio on him. (T. at 329).

{¶7} The last incident of sexual abuse occurred on March 5, 2007. On that occasion, her mother was at work, and the Defendant-Appellant had put the other children to bed early. He then took Brianna down to his bedroom and engaged in sexual intercourse with her. (T. at 314-315).

{¶8} On March 10, 2007, Brianna, then twelve years old, called her mother on the telephone from her grandmother's house and told her what the Defendant-Appellant had been doing to her. (T. at 303-305). Jessica, Brianna's fourteen year old sister, was in the car with her mother when Brianna called. (T. at 194). Jessica, who was not aware that Brianna had been sexually abused, had, until then, kept her own sexual abuse a secret. (T. at 191). However, when it appeared that her mother did not believe Brianna's claims, Jessica came forward and told her mother that the Defendant-Appellant had also sexually abused her from the time she was seven years old until she was twelve or thirteen years old. (T. at 187, 195, 247-248). According to Jessica, the abuse consisted of what Defendant-Appellant referred to as monthly "doctor checkups" where he would feel Jessica's breasts and digitally penetrate her vagina. (T. at 188-191, 218).

{¶9} The authorities were notified and Crawford County Children Services conducted an investigation together with the Crestline Police Department. The Crestline Police Department asked the Mansfield Police Department to become involved.

{¶10} Subsequently, the girls were sent to MedCentral Health System in Mansfield and on March 16, 2007, both girls had a SANE exam. The two nurses who performed the SANE exam, Jodie Flynn and Carol Rocks, both testified in this case in detail. Each testified that during the SANE examinations, it was discovered that Brianna had suffered hymenal tears and Jessica had suffered an injury to what is known as the posterior fourchette.

{¶11} On March 10, 2007, Defendant-Appellant, Brian A. Crawford, was indicted by the Richland County Grand Jury on 8 counts of rape, 15 counts of sexual battery, and 20 counts of gross sexual imposition.

{¶12} On October 31, 2007, the State of Ohio filed a Response to Request for Bill of Particulars.

{¶13} The venue was claimed to be proper in the Richland County Common Pleas Court, since the crimes were claimed to be committed originally in Richland County, Ohio, and then continued as a course of criminal conduct in Crawford County, Ohio.

{¶14} This case was tried to a jury on November 1, 2, 6, and 7, 2007.

{¶15} The State presented the following witnesses: Jessica, Brianna, Linda Ewers, Officer Carolyn Young, Samantha Corbin, Kathryn Corbin, Deputy David Satterfield, Jodie Flynn, RN, Carol Rocks, RN, Jodi Miller and Detective Jeff Shook.

{¶16} Appellant and Phyllis Shick testified on behalf of the defense.

{¶17} During their testimony, Jessica and Brianna were unable to give specific dates as to when specific activity took place, however, they did give numerical estimates as to how often the alleged abuse occurred.

{¶18} Defendant-Appellant also took the stand in this case, denying that he was guilty of any of these charges. Defendant-Appellant testified that there was friction in the home, that he did not get along well with Jessica or Brianna, and that there was resentment by the children toward him.

{¶19} On November 8, 2007, the jury returned a verdict, finding Defendant-Appellant guilty of all 53 counts.

{¶20} On November 9, 2007, Defendant-Appellant was sentenced on Counts One, Five, Nine, Fourteen, Twenty-four, and Thirty-four of the Indictment, for a total of 40 years. All other counts on which Defendant-Appellant was sentenced were to run concurrently with the Counts mentioned above. Further, Defendant-Appellant was placed on 5 years of post-release control.

{ΒΆ21} Defendant-Appellant now appeals his conviction, raising the following ...


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