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State v. Workman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Auglaize

August 28, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TIMOTHY SCOTT WORKMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Criminal Division Trial Court No. 2014-CR-75

          Timothy Scott Workman, Appellant.

          R. Andrew Augsburger for Appellee.

          OPINION

          WILLAMOWSKI, J.

         {¶1} Although originally placed on our accelerated calendar, we have elected pursuant to Loc.R. 12(5) to issue a full opinion in lieu of a summary judgment entry.

         {¶2} Defendant-appellant Timothy S. Workman ("Workman") was convicted of thirty-nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(1), thirty-nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(3), and one count of tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1). In this appeal, he challenges the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Auglaize County for (1) dismissing his successive petition for postconviction relief and (2) failing to hold an evidentiary hearing in response to his successive petition for postconviction relief. For the reasons set forth below, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶3} Two female minors accused Workman of taking nude photographs of them in a hotel room in Wapakoneta, Ohio, during the months of March and July of 2013. Tr. 382. A police detective set up a sting operation by posing as one of the minor girls and extending an offer to have another photo shoot at an area hotel. Doc. 103. After Workman registered at the hotel, the police apprehended him. Id. At the time of his arrest, Workman's cell phone was seized from his vehicle. Tr. 421. Further investigation of Workman's vehicle yielded two secure digital memory cards. Tr. 460-461. These memory cards contained nude pictures of the two minors who had accused Workman. Tr. 479-480.

         {¶4} Both of the female minors who accused Workman testified at his trial and identified Workman as the person who took the nude pictures of them. Tr. 310, 342, 346, 375. Both girls knew Workman independently of the photo shoots that he had hosted. Tr. 199-200, 298-299. One of these girls had known Workman for four to five years before their interactions in the photo shoots and, thus, for some time before she had identified him at trial. Tr. 298-299. The other girl had known Workman for a shorter period of time through his work at a local gym. Tr. 199-200. Further, the girls also identified the photographs he took of them and text messages about the photo shoots. Tr. 212, 225-228, 231-240, 308, 310, 318-336, 344-345. The photographs from the memory card were admitted into evidence as were copies of the text messages that were used to schedule the nude photo shoots in 2013. Ex. 95, 104.

         {¶5} On October 3, 2014, Workman was found guilty of thirty-nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(1), thirty-nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(3), and one count of tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1). Docs. 202-280. On October 27, 2014, Workman submitted a motion for a new trial on the grounds that Workman received ineffective assistance of counsel. Doc. 293. The motion for a new trial was denied. Doc. 299. On January 12, 2015, Workman filed a motion requesting a Franks hearing and then subsequently filed two motions that amended the motion requesting a Franks hearing on January 21, 2015, and January 29, 2015. Docs. 347, 357, 362. These motions alleged that the warrants issued in this case were based on false statements made by police. Doc. 347. The trial court denied these motions on February 15, 2015. Doc. 365.[1]

         {¶6} On February 4, 2015, he was sentenced to forty years in prison. Sentencing Hearing Tr. 42. Doc. 368. Workman filed a direct appeal of his conviction on March 9, 2015. Doc. 381. He challenged the inventory search of his utility vehicle and his conviction for tampering with evidence. Doc. 424. In this appeal, Workman did not raise the issues presented in the action now before this Court. See State v. Workman, 2015-Ohio-5049, 52 N.E.3d 286, ¶ 8 (3d Dist). After hearing his appeal, this Court affirmed the decision of the trial court. Id. The Supreme Court of Ohio did not accept his appeal for review of this Court's decision. See State v. Workman, 145 Ohio St.3d 1445, 2016-Ohio-1596, 48 N.E.3d 584.

         {¶7} On April 8, 2015, Workman submitted another motion requesting a Franks hearing with the trial court that challenged the warrants in this case, claiming the warrants were issued on the basis of false statements. Doc. 394. This motion was denied on April 10, 2015. Docs. 402. Workman did not appeal the denial of this motion. On September 16, 2015, Workman filed a petition for postconviction relief. Doc. 414. The arguments in this petition raised ineffective assistance of counsel claims and questioned whether the State released all relevant evidence to the Defense. Id. This motion for postconviction relief was denied by the trial court on February 11, 2016. Doc. 441. On February 16, 2016, Workman filed another motion requesting a Franks hearing. Doc. 446. This motion alleged that the warrants issued in this case were based on false statements made by the police. Id. The trial court denied this motion on February 19, 2016. Docs. 448.

         {¶8} On March 4, 2016, Workman appealed the decision of the trial court to deny his February 11, 2016 petition for postconviction relief. Docs. 463, 467. On March 7, 2016, Workman filed a notice of appeal, challenging the trial court's decision to deny his February 16, 2016 motion requesting a Franks hearing. Docs. 469, 479. On July 25, 2016, this Court affirmed the trial court's decision to deny both of these motions. Doc. 502. On August 11, 2016, Workman filed a motion for a new trial, claiming "there was accident or surprise, in that the Defendant did not expect the State to produce or use fraudulent evidence against this defendant." Doc. 504. On August 12, 2016, Workman submitted a motion for a new trial claiming that "the State knowingly and intentionally presented fraudulent evidence against this defendant * * *." Doc. 512. The trial court denied these motions on October 27, 2016. Doc. 530. Workman did not file an appeal in response to this decision by the trial court.

         {¶9} On December 12, 2016, Workman filed a motion for a new trial. Doc. 533. This motion alleged that newly discovered evidence had surfaced and requested an evidentiary hearing. Doc. 533. The newly discovered evidence that this motion purportedly identified was a photograph that was admitted as an exhibit to trial. Id. Ex. 104-3. This photo captures a fully clothed teenage girl sitting on a counter in a hotel room. Ex. 104-3. The reflection of the person taking the picture can be partially seen in the mirror behind the girl. Id. However, the flash from the camera obscures the face of the person taking the picture, leaving only portions of his right arm and abdomen visible. Id. Workman's motion for a new trial was accompanied by a letter from an alleged expert. Doc. 533. The alleged expert claimed that the person taking the picture had a tattoo on his arm. Id. Workman asserted that this demonstrated that he was not the person who took the pictures as he did not have a tattoo on his right arm. Id.

         {¶10} On January 23, 2017, Workman filed an amendment to his December 12, 2016 motion for a new trial. Doc. 544. This document claimed that the photograph that was admitted to trial as State's Exhibit 104-3 was taken on November 5, 2013, which was after Workman was taken into custody on September 30, 2013. Id. Workman argued that this was new evidence that showed he was not guilty of the crime for which he was convicted. Id. Affixed to this motion was a screenshot and a few handwritten notes scrawled on letterhead from PC Solutions. Id. The screenshot shows the properties of the computer file which contained the photograph that is State's Exhibit 104-3. The properties-or file attributes-show that this file was created on November 5, 2013. Id. The page with handwritten notes records the file attributes that were displayed in Windows Photo Viewer. Id. The name of the person who opened this computer file for Workman at PC Solutions is listed, but no expert credentials or further identification is included anywhere in this motion. Id.

         {¶11} In response to these pleadings, the State filed an objection to defendant's motion for a new trial on February 17, 2017, arguing that neither document disclosed any new evidence but only asserted "new interpretations on old evidence." Doc. 548. The State first addressed the information alleging that the photographer in State's Exhibit 104-3 had a tattoo on his arm. The State pointed out that Workman's own expert, Patrick Mains, testified at trial that he could not conclude that the person taking the photograph in State's Exhibit 104-3 had a tattoo on his arm. Id. Rather, Mains testified that this dark area on the photographer's arm could be only a shadow. Id. Trial Tr. 900, 902-903.

         {¶12} The State then addressed the allegations that the photograph that was admitted as State's Exhibit 104-3 was taken after Workman had been taken into custody. Doc. 548. On this issue, the State explained that the file attributes, which were depicted in the screenshots submitted by Workman, were the dates on which the digital files were created during the course of the investigation not the dates on which the pictures were taken. Id. The dates presented under the file attributes represented the creation of copies of the original images found on Workman's phone. Id. The metadata that recorded the time at which these pictures were taken had been removed from the picture files prior to Workman's apprehension. Id. Since the metadata had been removed, the nude pictures and the photograph that was admitted at trial as State's Exhibit 104-3 only contained the date on which they were modified, which was March 14, 2013. Id. Trial Tr. 644-646. The State argued ...


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