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State v. Patterson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

December 11, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CHADWICK PATTERSON Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2016CR1713

          For Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO, Prosecuting Attorney, Stark County, Ohio By: KRISTINE W. BEARD Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant GEORGE URBAN

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Hoffman, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Chadwick Patterson appeals the judgment entered by the Stark County Common Pleas Court convicting him of one count of rape (R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(c) and/or (A)(2))[1] and two counts of kidnapping (R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), (B)(2)) and sentencing him to an aggregate term of imprisonment of forty-one years. Appellee is the state of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} On August 29, 2016, Appellant met K.L. at the SARTA bus stop in Canton. Although K.L. lived in a group home in Massillon, she was in Canton spending time with her boyfriend, an acquaintance of Appellant. Appellant gave K.L. a cigarette and talked with the couple.

         {¶3} K.L. spent the remainder of the day at her boyfriend's mother's home. In the evening, she was waiting for a bus in front of the Save-a-Lot store on Tuscarawas Street. Appellant crossed the street to talk to her. She thought he was cute, and he told her he was going to be her boyfriend. Appellant told K.L. he knew a shortcut to the SARTA bus.

         {¶4} K.L. followed Appellant into Dueber Park, formerly known as Mother Gooseland. They walked inside the blue whale, a structure left on the site from when the park was known as Mother Gooseland. Inside the whale, Appellant forced K.L. to perform fellatio on him. When she told him she did not want to, he hit her in the back of her head. He made her get on her hands and knees, and engaged in vaginal intercourse with her. Appellant then received a telephone call and left.

         {¶5} K.L. followed Appellant out of the park to Tuscarawas Street, where she flagged someone down. She told the man she had been raped, and asked him to call 911.

         {¶6} While driving down Tuscarawas Street in response to the call, Sgt. Joshua Coates of the Canton Police Department was flagged down by K.L. and the man who helped her call the police. K.L. told Sgt. Coates she met a man who was showing her a shortcut to the bus stop. She stated the man forced her to perform oral sex on him, then vaginally raped her. She described the man as 5'6" tall, about 160 pounds, with a goatee. She told police the suspect wore shorts with a red or green stripe, and an ankle monitor.

         {¶7} An ambulance transported K.L. to Mercy Hospital. A rape kit was performed, and the DNA profile from the vaginal swabs in the rape kit was a mixture consistent with contributions from K.L. and Appellant.

         {¶8} Det. Michael Walker was assigned to investigate the case. During law enforcement roll call on August 30, 2016, Officer Amber Walters of the Adult Parole Authority was present. Because the suspect was reportedly wearing an ankle monitor, she contacted the monitoring agency and identified two individuals in the area of Mother Gooseland at approximately 8:00 p.m. on August 29, 2016. One of the individuals was a black male, and the other was Appellant. Because K.L. described her attacker as a white male, Det. Walker focused on Appellant as a possible suspect. After interviewing K.L. at the group home, Det. Walker believed her description of her attacker matched Appellant.

         {¶9} Det. Walker obtained a search warrant for Appellant's residence, where he located the clothing described by K.L. Det. Guthrie administered a photo lineup, during which K.L. identified Appellant.

         {¶10} Appellant was indicted by the Stark County Grand Jury with one count of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(c) and/or (A)(2), with a sexually violent predator specification and a repeat violent offender specification; one count of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), with a sexually violent predator specification, a repeat violent offender specification, and a sexual motivation specification; and one count of kidnapping in violation of R. C. 2905.01(B)(2) with a sexually violent predator specification, a repeat violent offender specification, and a sexual motivation specification.

         {¶11} Prior to trial, Appellant filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence he was on post-release control at the time of the alleged incident. The State filed a motion to admit other acts evidence at trial, specifically the facts of a 2007 case in which Appellant was convicted of rape, attempted rape, and gross sexual imposition. After a hearing, the court granted Appellant's motion in part, holding the State could present evidence Appellant was subject to monitoring equipment at the time of the offense which led to his identification, but could not reference the specific charge. However, the court granted the State's motion as to specific evidence of other acts:

Having said that, I understand the prejudicial nature, but given the defense and given the, the issue of consent or non-consent the Court finds that there is a blueprint. The case would - major case that dealt with this type of thing was State versus McKnight, and the Court - in that case they talk about a - basically the fingerprint that - almost that it's close to being identical when you're talking about August, 40-ish, white women, Sarta, evening, involving - happening at the location, the alleged force used in both cases, the differences being very small compared to the things that are in common as a result of which the Court is going to allow it with the limiting instruction. Motion Tr. 13-14.

         {¶12} The case proceeded to jury trial on the charges of rape and kidnapping, with the repeat violent offender and sexually violent predator specifications tried to the court.

         {¶13} At trial, Victoria Patrick, a former SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) nurse at Mercy Medical Center, testified on August 22, 2007, she treated a woman named S.F., a forty-seven year old white female, in the emergency room. S.F. told Patrick she was standing at a bus stop in Massillon, and she was sexually assaulted. Det. Bobby Grizzard, a former detective with the Massillon Police Department, testified he was assigned to investigate the assault of S.F. in 2007. He testified Appellant initially admitted asking S.F. for sex, and then engaging in a "conflict" with her in which he struck her. He eventually admitted the sexual assault, telling Grizzard he wanted to go to jail where he would have no worries. The trial court gave the jury a limiting instruction to only consider the evidence of the 2007 sexual assault as it relates to the "modus operandi" of Appellant, and not to demonstrate the character of Appellant or that he acted in conformity with such character in the instant case.

         {¶14} Appellant testified at trial. Appellant stated he met K.L. and her boyfriend, who he had known about three months, at the SARTA station. He was unaware they were boyfriend and girlfriend. He later ran into K.L. alone outside the Save-a-Lot. He asked if she was single, and she replied she was single. He asked her to be his girlfriend. According to Appellant, they mutually decided to "fool around" inside the blue whale at Mother Gooseland. He claimed to be unaware K.L. had any mental deficiency.

         {¶15} The jury found Appellant guilty on all counts. The Court found Appellant guilty on the specifications. For purposes of sentencing, the court merged the kidnapping by force charge with the charge of rape. The court found the other kidnapping count constituted a separate act and animus, whereby Appellant moved K.L. to Mother Gooseland by deception. Appellant was sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of forty-one years, and found to be a Tier III sex offender.

         {¶16} Appellant prosecutes his appeal from the judgment of conviction and sentence entered by the court on February 2, 2017, assigning as error:

"I. APPELLANTS CONVICTIONS WERE AGAINST THE SUFFICIENCY AND/OR MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.
"II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY NOT MERGING COUNT ONE WITH COUNTS TWO AND THREE FOR SENTENCING PURPOSES.
"III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY PERMITTING THE STATE TO INTRODUCE EVIDENCE REGARDING THE FACTS OF APPELLANTS PRIOR RAPE CONVICTION AND EVIDENCE REGARDING APPELLANTS POST-RELEASE CONTROL STATUS."

         III.

         {¶17} We address Appellant's third assignment of error first, as it is dispositive of the majority of the remaining issues in his appeal.

         {¶18} Appellant argues the court erred in admitting evidence he previously committed a sexual assault on S.F. [2] The State argues the evidence was admissible as proof of a scheme, plan, or system, as the evidence demonstrates how appellant goes about raping women.

         {¶19} Over objection, Victoria Patrick, a former SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) nurse at Mercy Medical Center testified on August 22, 2007, she treated a woman named S.F., a forty-seven year old white female, in the emergency room. S.F. told Patrick she was standing at a bus stop in Massillon, and she was sexually assaulted. Det. Bobby Grizzard, a former detective with the Massillon Police Department, testified he was assigned to investigate the assault of S.F. in 2007. He testified Appellant initially admitted asking S.F. for sex, and then engaging in a "conflict" with her in which he struck her. He eventually admitted the sexual assault, telling Grizzard he wanted to go to jail where he would have no worries. The trial court gave the jury a limiting instruction to only ...


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