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State v. Martin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District

June 28, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHARLES B. MARTIN, Defendant-Appellant.

Criminal Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2011 CR 0790.

Victor V. Vigluicci, Portage County Prosecutor, and Pamela J. Holder, Assistant Prosecutor, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

Chris Wells, (For Defendant-Appellant).

OPINION

CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.

{¶1} Appellant, Charles B. Martin, appeals the sentence of the Portage County Court of Common Pleas following his guilty plea to gross sexual imposition of a four-year-old girl. At issue is whether appellant can successfully challenge his sentence in light of his failure to file a transcript of the proceedings in the trial court. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

{¶2} Due to appellant's failure to file a transcript, we are unaware of the facts in this matter other than appellant's few brief statements and admissions in his brief. Appellant, who is 22 years old, admits that he is an acquaintance of the victim's parents and that he had done lawn work for them in the past. He states that on July 23, 2011, the victim's parents left their four-year-old daughter alone with him. Appellant states that on the next day, July 24, 2011, the victim's parents reported to police that appellant had engaged in sexual conduct with their child. As a result, appellant was questioned by police; submitted a DNA sample to them; and was subsequently arrested for the offenses charged in the indictment.

{¶3} On December 15, 2011, appellant was indicted for two counts of attempted rape, each being a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and R.C 2907.02(A)(1)(b), each with a child rape specification, in violation of R.C. 2941.1419; two counts of gross sexual imposition, each being a felony of the third degree, in violation of R.C. 2907.05; and importuning, a felony of the third degree, in violation of R.C. 2907.07. Appellant pled not guilty.

{¶4} Subsequently, counsel advised the trial court that they had engaged in plea negotiations and that appellant had agreed to a plea bargain pursuant to which he would plead guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the third degree, and the remaining charges would be nolled.

{¶5} On April 24, 2012, the court held a guilty plea hearing. Appellant did not file a transcript of this hearing on appeal. According to his "Written Plea of Guilty, " the court advised appellant that the offense to which he was pleading guilty was gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony; that the maximum sentence for this offense was five years in prison; and that upon acceptance of his guilty plea, the court could immediately sentence him. The trial court thus advised appellant of the effect of his guilty plea. Appellant indicated he understood the foregoing.

{¶6} Further, according to the written guilty plea, the court advised appellant of his right to a jury trial at which he would have the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him, the right to compulsory process, and the right to require the state to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial at which he could not be compelled to testify against himself. Appellant indicated he understood his trial rights and wanted to waive them. He signed his guilty plea to one count of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the third degree. The court then entered a nolle prosequi to the remaining counts of the indictment. The court found that appellant understood and waived his trial rights before entering his guilty plea and that he understood the effect of his plea.

{¶7} By the court's separate judgment entry, dated April 26, 2012, the court found that appellant's guilty plea was voluntary; accepted his plea; found him guilty of gross sexual imposition; accepted the nolle prosequi to the remaining charges; and referred appellant to the probation department for a pre-sentence investigation.

{¶8} On July 16, 2012, the court conducted a sentencing hearing. Again, appellant did not file a transcript of this hearing on appeal. In the court's sentencing entry, the court stated that in sentencing appellant, it considered, inter alia, the evidence presented by counsel, oral statements, and appellant's statement. However, because appellant did not file a transcript of the sentencing hearing, none of the evidence presented at the sentencing hearing is before us. According to the sentencing entry, the court sentenced appellant to a definite term of five years in prison, the maximum term for a third-degree felony.

{¶9} Appellant appeals his sentence, asserting the following for his sole assignment of error:

{¶10} "The trial court erred in ordering a five year prison sentence contrary to the sentencing principles in ...


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