Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Ashtabula
Appeal from the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, Case
No. 2017 CR 00009.
Nicholas A. Iarocci, Ashtabula County Prosecutor, and Shelley
M. Pratt, Assistant Prosecutor, Ashtabula County (For
Margaret L. Brunarski, Assistant Public Defender, (For
R. WRIGHT, J.
Appellant, the state of Ohio, appeals the trial court's
decision granting appellee's motion for a transcript of
the recorded statements of the minor victim without holding a
hearing. We reverse and remand.
Appellee, Dennis A. Burch, was indicted and charged with four
counts of gross sexual imposition in January of 2017 to which
Burch pleaded not guilty.
In February of 2017, the state filed its certification of
nondisclosure pursuant to Crim.R.16(D) in which it explains
that the state will not disclose the minor victim's video
interviews. The state's certification states that
nondisclosure "is for one or more of the following
reasons * * *." It then recites four of the five reasons
permitted for nondisclosure under Crim.R. 16(D)(1)-(5)
without providing any case-specific factual details or
In April of 2017, Burch moved the court for transcripts of
his interviews as well as official transcripts of all
"material" witness interviews conducted by the
Geneva-on-the-Lake Police Department and Ashtabula County
Children Services. Burch's motion alleges the transcripts
would be invaluable in preparing his defense and that he is
indigent and unable to pay. The trial court granted
Burch's motion in part and overruled it in part.
The narrow issue on appeal concerns the trial court's
decision ordering the disclosure of the minor victim's
statements. The trial court ordered the state to provide
Burch with "a complete and accurate written transcript
of the video recorded statements of the victim in this case,
forthwith." It explains that the prosecution provided
Burch with a partial, unofficial transcript of the
victim's interview and that it had failed to detail the
reasons supporting its certification of nondisclosure.
The state moved for leave to appeal, which was granted and
the trial court stayed the underlying proceedings pending
The state raises one assigned error:
"The trial court abused its discretion in granting
appellee's motion for a transcript of the victim's
video interview without a hearing pursuant to Crim.R.
As stated, the state filed its certification of nondisclosure
in February 2017 and it cites Crim.R. 16(D)(1)-(3) and (5) as
reasons for its nondisclosure of complete copies of the
victim's statements. Thereafter, Burch moved for copies
of all "material" witnesses recorded statements,
including the victim's.
Crim.R. 16 governs discovery in criminal cases, and the
granting or overruling of discovery motions in a criminal
case rests within the sound discretion of the court.
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