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State v. Manley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Allen

October 23, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHN L. MANLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Allen County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. CR 2015 0427

          F. Stephen Chamberlain for Appellant

          Jana E. Emerick for Appellee

          OPINION

          SHAW, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, John Manley ("Manley"), brings this appeal from the January 10, 2017, judgment of the Allen County Common Pleas Court sentencing Manley to serve 16 months in prison after he was convicted by a jury of Gross Sexual Imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(1), a felony of the fourth degree. On appeal, Manley argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, that his conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence, and that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         Procedural History

         {¶2} On December 17, 2015, Manley was indicted for one count of Gross Sexual Imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(1), a felony of the fourth degree. Manley pled not guilty to the charge, and his case proceeded to a jury trial. Manley was ultimately convicted and on January 10, 2017, he was sentenced to serve 16 months in prison. It is from this judgment that Manley appeals, asserting the following assignments of error for our review.

         Assignment of Error No. 1

The Defendant was deprived of his right to a fair trial due to the ineffective assistance of counsel.

         Assignment of Error No. 2

The conviction of the Defendant was against the manifest weight of the evidence and was based upon insufficient evidence.

         {¶3} We elect to address the assignments of error out of the order in which they were raised.

         Second Assignment of Error

         {¶4} In his second assignment of error, Manley argues that his conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence, and that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         Relevant Authority

         {¶5} Whether there is legally sufficient evidence to sustain a verdict is a question of law. State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386 (1997). Sufficiency is a test of adequacy. Id. When an appellate court reviews a record upon a sufficiency challenge, " 'the relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt.' " State v. Leonard, 104 Ohio St.3d 54, 2004-Ohio-6235, ¶ 77, quoting State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259 (1991), paragraph two of the syllabus.

         {¶6} By contrast, in reviewing whether a verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence, the appellate court sits as a "thirteenth juror" and examines the conflicting testimony. Thompkins at 387. In doing so, this Court must review the entire record, weigh the evidence and all of the reasonable inferences, consider the credibility of witnesses and determine whether in resolving conflicts in the evidence, the factfinder "clearly lost its way and created such a manifest miscarriage of justice that the conviction must be reversed and a new trial ordered." Id. Furthermore, "[t]o reverse a judgment of a trial court on the weight of the evidence, when the judgment results from a trial by jury, a unanimous concurrence of all three judges on the court of appeals panel reviewing the case is required. Thompkins at paragraph 4 of the syllabus, citing Ohio Constitution, Article IV, Section 3(B)(3).

         {¶7} In this case, Manley was convicted of Gross Sexual Imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(1), which reads, "No person shall have sexual contact with another, not the spouse of the offender * * * when * * * [t]he offender purposely ...


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