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State v. Bussle

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage

May 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
QUILLIE BUSSLE, JR., Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2015 CR 00489.

          Victor V. Vigluicci, Portage County Prosecutor, and Kristina Reilly, Assistant Prosecutor, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Paul M. Grant, (For Defendant-Appellant).



         {¶1} Quillie Bussle, Jr., appeals from the judgment entry of the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, finding him guilty, after bench trial, of two counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, and three counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, and sentencing him to a total term of 15 years imprisonment. Mr. Bussle contends the trial court deprived him of his constitutional right to compulsory process by quashing a witness subpoena. He also contends his convictions are based on insufficient evidence, and are against the manifest weight of the evidence. Finding no reversible error, we affirm.

         {¶2} Mr. Bussle was charged by an indictment filed July 14, 2015. He pleaded not guilty July 16, 2015. The matter came on for bench trial February 2, 2016. The facts are taken from the trial transcript.

         {¶3} On the evening of October 12, 2013, Mr. Bussle was hosting a party in the basement of his parents' house in Ravenna, Ohio, where he lived. Alcohol and drugs were plentiful. One of the guests was Bridget David. It appears Mr. Bussle was her drug supplier. At trial, she testified Mr. Bussle asked her to pick up two girls, S.M. and D.D., and bring them to the party after purchasing vodka. Once Ms. David and the girls returned to the party, the three of them retired to the bathroom to smoke crack cocaine that Mr. Bussle had given Ms. David. At some point, Mr. Bussle entered the bathroom, and asked Ms. David and the two girls to pose for topless photographs. Ms. David testified Mr. Bussle used her cell phone to take the photographs, and directed the poses. The first photograph depicted the three topless, with their arms draped around each other. In the second, the pose was the same, but S.M. was licking Ms. David's nipples. The third photograph depicted both S.M. and D.D. licking Ms. David's nipples. In the fourth and fifth photographs, the girls are standing topless with their tongues sticking out.

         {¶4} Ms. David testified she learned shortly thereafter the girls were minors (S.M. was 15 at the time; D.D. was 17), and that she tried to erase the photographs from her phone. May 15, 2014, she was stopped by the Portage County Drug Task Force, who seized her phone pursuant to a warrant. She entered a guilty plea to three counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, fifth degree felonies. By the time of trial, she had completed her sentence.

         {¶5} S.M. testified she had met Mr. Bussle incidentally one day while he was riding his bicycle, and that she renewed her acquaintance later at a friend's house. She testified Mr. Bussle then told her he could find ways for her to earn money, so she gave him her phone number.

         {¶6} S.M. testified she and D.D. were picked up by both Mr. Bussle and Ms. David the evening of October 12, 2013, and that the four then drove to a trailer park, where Ms. David sold a food stamp card to a man. S.M. testified Mr. Bussle told her to do anything the man desired, but that she and D.D. were scared by him, and hid in his bathroom. S.M. testified the man nevertheless hugged her as they left. S.M. testified the group then purchased vodka.

         {¶7} On arriving at Mr. Bussle's residence, S.M. testified she saw Danielle Knight and the latter's boyfriend, but that the two soon left to purchase beer. Mr. Bussle then gave her a Percocet pill, and she drank vodka, before entering the bathroom, followed by Ms. David and D.D., where they smoked crack cocaine. S.M. testified Mr. Bussle then entered the bathroom, and told the girls they could get $100 for posing topless. S.M. testified Mr. Bussle took the photographs, and directed the poses.

         {¶8} Agent Stephen Lincoln of the Portage County Drug Task Force testified he received a report that a minor was offering prostitution services on a website, Investigation revealed this was D.D. Agent Lincoln and other law enforcement agents obtained the warrant for Ms. David's phone, containing the five photographs. Agent Lincoln testified that upon executing a search warrant for Mr. Bussle's residence, officers recovered six phones - none containing any incriminating photographs. He further testified there were reports Mr. Bussle also possessed an iphone, which was never recovered, and that Mr. Bussle vigorously denied any knowledge of the five photographs in question.

         {¶9} Mr. Bussle had subpoenaed Danielle Knight, and the state had moved to quash. At the commencement of trial, the trial court reviewed Ms. Knight's statement to Agent Lincoln, and granted the motion to quash. However, she further directed that Agent Lincoln could be cross examined on the substance of Ms. Knight's statement. Agent Lincoln testified Ms. Knight denied Mr. Bussle took the photographs, and admitted she may have taken them herself.

         {¶10} Mr. Bussle moved to dismiss pursuant to Crim.R. 29 at the close of the state's case, and properly renewed his motion thereafter. The trial court denied the motions, found Mr. Bussle guilty of all charges, and ordered the preparation of a presentence report. Sentencing hearing was held April 15, 2016. All of Mr. Bussle's convictions were for second degree felonies. The trial court sentenced Mr. Bussle to five consecutive terms of three years each; imposed court costs and a fine; and informed Mr. Bussle he was subject to five years mandatory post-release control. He was designated a Tier II sex offender.

         {¶11} Mr. Bussle timely noticed appeal, assigning three errors. The first reads: "The trial court erred as a matter of law in denying Bussle's right to compulsory process in violation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, 1, 10 & 16 of the Ohio Constitution." Mr. Bussle asserts the trial court erred in quashing his subpoena of Ms. Knight.

          {¶12} "The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, 'In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right (* * *) to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor (* * *)." State v. Jamison, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 22177, 2008-Ohio-2065, ¶54. However, in S ...

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