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State v. Kurtz

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

July 11, 2013

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
MICHAEL KURTZ DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-556138

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT John T. Castele

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Kevin R. Filiatraut Assistant County Prosecutor The Justice Center

BEFORE: Jones, J., Boyle, P.J., and Celebrezze, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

LARRY A. JONES, SR., J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant, Michael Kurtz, appeals his conviction for felonious assault. We affirm.

{¶2} In 2011, Kurtz was charged with one count each of kidnapping, attempted rape, and felonious assault, and two counts each of rape and gross sexual imposition; each count contained a sexually violent predator specification. The case proceeded to a bench trial. At the conclusion of trial, the court convicted Kurtz of the single count of felonious assault but acquitted him of all other charges.

{¶3} The following facts pertinent to the felonious assault conviction were presented at trial.

{¶ 4} The victim testified that, in October 2011, she was employed as a receptionist at a temporary hiring agency, Shamrock Staffing, in Bedford Heights. She used the internet in her daily life and admitted that she often had anonymous internet conversations with people she met on Facebook and Craigslist. These conversations were of a sexual nature and were occasionally also of a violent sexual nature. The victim testified that she had no intention of ever personally meeting anyone she conversed with on the computer.

{¶5} On October 24, 2011, the victim received an instant Facebook message from "Mark Wilson, " which stated that he came across emails the two of them had exchanged in 2010. "Mark" wanted to know if she was still interested in rough sex. "Mark" divulged that he went by the user name "domdaddy" and he and the victim started up a sexual conversation. The two discussed that she was alone at work and would be until later that afternoon. The victim testified that she thought "Mark" was a "black man" because of his profile picture.

{¶ 6} Later that day, a white man, later identified as Kurtz, came into Shamrock and said he wanted to fill out an application. The victim testified she had never seen the man before. Kurtz asked the victim, "do you remember me" and advanced towards her, pushing her. He pushed her again and proceeded to attack her. The victim testified that the man punched her "really hard in the vagina, " "tried to bite her nipples off, " and "took his belt off and whipped my butt with it." The victim testified the entire attack took five to seven minutes before ringing phones scared the man away.

{¶ 7} The victim spoke with her manager, called police, and went to the hospital.

{¶ 8} The day after the incident, the victim was interviewed by Bedford Heights police detectives. The interview was video-recorded, played for the trial court, and entered into evidence. During the interview, with regard to her injuries, the victim stated that she had some bruising on her buttocks and lower back and redness on her chest. She made no mention of her internet conversations with "Mark."

{ΒΆ 9} Colleen Brundege testified that she was a manager at Shamrock Staffing. On October 24, at some point in the afternoon, she repeatedly tried calling the victim, but the victim did not answer the office phone or her cell phone. According to Brundege, the victim finally called her back and told her that a man had come into the office and "attacked her and tried to rape her." Brundege went to the hospital to check on the victim and saw her injuries, which included bite marks, bruises, and welt ...


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