Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
from Common Pleas Court-Juvenile Division Trial Court Case
MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by MICHAEL J. SCARPELLI, Atty. Reg. No.
0093662, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Attorney for
SWIFT, Atty. Reg. No. 0065745, Attorney for
1} C.M.R. appeals from his adjudication of
delinquency in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas,
Juvenile Division, for an act that, if committed by an adult,
would constitute the offense of rape of a person under the
age of 13. In support of his appeal, C.M.R. challenges the
trial court's decision overruling his motion to suppress
statements he made to an investigating detective. C.M.R. also
claims that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to
counsel and that his adjudication was not supported by
sufficient evidence and was otherwise against the manifest
weight of the evidence. For the reasons outlined below, the
judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.
and Course of Proceedings
2} On July 12, 2016, the Warren County Sheriffs
Department began to investigate allegations that
fourteen-year-old C.M.R. had nine-year-old C.C. perform
fellatio on him while the boys were in the woods behind
C.C.'s grandfather's home in Waynesville, Ohio.
C.M.R. occasionally spent time with C.C.'s family because
C.M.R.'s father was in a relationship with C.C.'s
mother. In conducting the investigation, Detective Brandi
Carter performed a forensic interview with C.C. on July 14,
2016. During the interview, C.C. indicated that there were a
few incidents where C.M.R. exposed his genitals and one
incident where C.M.R. placed his penis in C.C.'s mouth.
3} Following the forensic interview, Detective
Carter contacted C.M.R.'s mother by telephone and asked
to question C.M.R. regarding the allegations. Although
C.M.R.'s mother initially indicated that she was going to
get an attorney, she nevertheless called Detective Carter
back and scheduled to meet with Carter at the sheriff's
office on August 3, 2016. Thereafter, C.M.R. and his mother
appeared at the sheriffs office as scheduled and spoke with
4} During the meeting, Detective Carter first spoke
with C.M.R.'s mother about the investigation, the
allegations, and the fact that C.M.R. could be charged with
rape. Detective Carter also advised C.M.R.'s mother that
C.M.R. was not obligated to submit to questioning and that
she and C.M.R. were free to leave and speak to an attorney.
Following this discussion, C.M.R.'s mother permitted
Detective Carter to question C.M.R. without an attorney
present. During the questioning, C.M.R., who was then 15
years old, admitted to putting his penis in C.C.s' mouth
on one occasion while he and C.C. were playing outside.
5} After Detective Carter completed her
investigation, on August 15, 2016, a complaint was filed
against C.M.R. in the Warren County Juvenile Court alleging
one count of rape of a person less than 13 years of age in
violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b), a felony of the first
degree. C.M.R. thereafter filed a motion to suppress the
statements he made to Detective Carter during the August 3,
2016 interview. A hearing on the motion was held on December
5, 2016, during which the State presented the testimony of
Detective Carter and the defense presented the testimony of
C.M.R.'s mother. After taking the matter under
advisement, the trial court overruled C.M.R.'s motion to
6} On January 18, 2017, the case proceeded to trial.
At trial, the State presented the testimony of C.C,
C.C.'s mother, and Detective Carter. After the State
rested its case, C.M.R. moved for an acquittal pursuant to
Crim.R. 29 on grounds that the State failed to prove the
venue and date of the offense as alleged in the complaint.
C.M.R. also alleged the State failed to prove that he engaged
in sexual conduct with C.C. Following the parties'
arguments, the trial court overruled the Crim.R. 29 motion
and adjudicated C.M.R. a delinquent child for the charge of
rape alleged in the complaint.
7} Given that C.M.R. was a resident of Montgomery
County, Ohio, the Warren County Juvenile Court ordered the
case be transferred to the Montgomery County Juvenile Court
for final disposition. On April 10, 2017, the Montgomery County
Juvenile Court held a final disposition hearing and ordered
that C.M.R. be committed to the legal custody of the
Department of Youth Services for a minimum period of one year
and a maximum period not to exceed C.M.R.'s attainment of
the age of 21. The court, however, suspended C.M.R.'s
commitment on the condition that he abide by the terms of
probation, which was ordered to last through March 22, 2018.
The trial court also ordered C.M.R. to be monitored by the
court for an additional 18 months after his probation term
8} C.M.R. now appeals from his adjudication of
delinquency, raising three assignments of error for review.
Assignment of Error
9} C.M.R.'s First Assignment of Error is as
[C.M.R.]'S FIFTH AMENDMENT RIGHT AGAINST SELF
INCRIMINATION AND FIFTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO COUNSEL WAS
VIOLATED BECAUSE HIS STATEMENTS WERE INVOLUNTARILY INDUCED
AND WITHOUT ADMINISTRATION OF THE NECESSARY MIRANDA
RIGHTS AND WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF AN ATTORNEY.
10} Under his First Assignment of Error, C.M.R.
challenges the trial court's decision overruling his
motion to suppress the statements he made to Detective Carter
during the August, 3, 2016 interview. C.M.R. claims his
statements should have been suppressed because he was: (1)
not advised of his Miranda rights; (2) denied his
right to counsel after his mother allegedly invoked the right
on his behalf; and (3) involuntarily induced to speak with
11} "In ruling on a motion to suppress, the
trial court 'assumes the role of the trier of fact, and,
as such, is in the best position to resolve questions of fact
and evaluate the credibility of the witnesses.' "
State v. Prater, 2012-Ohio-5105, 984 N.E.2d 36,
¶ 7 (2d Dist.), quoting State v. Retherford, 93
Ohio App.3d 586, 592, 639 N.E.2d 498 (2d Dist.1994). "As
a result, when we review suppression decisions, 'we are
bound to accept the trial court's findings of fact if
they are supported by competent, credible evidence. Accepting
those facts as true, we must independently determine as a
matter of law, without deference to the trial court's
conclusion, whether they meet the applicable legal
standard.' " Id., quoting
12} As noted above, C.M.R. initially claims that the
statements he made to Detective Carter during the August 3,
2016 interview should have been suppressed because Carter
failed to administer Miranda warnings in violation
of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Although the record indicates that Carter did not administer
Miranda warnings, we disagree with C.M.R.'s
conclusion that this necessitated the suppression of his
13} " 'It is well-settled that many
constitutional protections enjoyed by adults also apply to
juveniles. One such constitutional protection is the
privilege against self-incrimination.' " In re
R.L, 2014-Ohio-5065, 23 N.E.3d 298, ¶ 17 (2d
Dist.), quoting In re Haubeil, 4th Dist. Ross No.
01CA2631, 2002-Ohio-4095, ¶ 9. (Other citation omitted.)
The privilege against self-incrimination is guaranteed by the
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which
provides that no person "shall be compelled in any
criminal case to be a witness against himself."
14} "In order to ensure that this right is
protected, statements resulting from custodial interrogations
are admissible only after a showing that the procedural
safeguards described in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S.
436, 444, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), have been
followed." In re L.G., 2017-Ohio-2781, 82
N.E.3d 52, ¶ 11 (2d Dist.), citing State v.
Earnest, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 26646, 2015-Ohio-3913,
¶ 21. "Miranda requires police to give a
suspect certain prescribed warnings before custodial
interrogation commences and provides that if the warnings are
not given, any statements elicited from the suspect through
police interrogation in that circumstance must be
suppressed." State v. Petitjean, 140 Ohio
App.3d 517, 523, 748 N.E.2d 133 (2d Dist.2000). Specifically,
"police officers must warn a suspect, prior to
questioning, that he or she has a right to remain silent and
a right to the presence of an attorney." (Citations
omitted.) L G. at ¶ 11. " 'After the
warnings are given, if the suspect indicates that he wishes
to remain silent, the interrogation must cease. Similarly, if
the suspect states that he wants an attorney, the
interrogation must cease until an attorney is present.'
" Id., quoting Maryland v. Shatzer,
559 U.S. 98, 104, 130 S.Ct. 1213, 175 L.Ed.2d 1045 (2010).
15} Police, however, are not required to administer
Miranda warnings to every person they question, even
if the person being questioned is a suspect. State v.
Biros, 78 Ohio St.3d 426, 440, 678 N.E.2d 891 (1997),
citing Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495, 97
S.Ct. 711, 50 L.Ed.2d 714 (1977). Miranda warnings
are required only for custodial interrogations. Id.,
citing Mathiason at 494. (Other citation omitted.)
Miranda defined custodial interrogation as
"questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after
a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of
his freedom of action in any significant way."
Miranda at 444.
16} "An individual is in custody when there has
been a formal arrest or a restraint of freedom of movement
such that a reasonable man would believe that he is under
arrest." State v. Wenzler, 2d Dist. Greene No.
2003-CA-16, 2004-Ohio-1811, ¶ 15, citing Biros
at 440. Accordingly, " 'the ultimate inquiry is
simply whether there is a "formal arrest or restraint on
freedom of movement" of the degree associated with a
formal arrest.' " Biros at 440, quoting
California v. Beheler, 463 U.S. 1121, 1125, 103
S.Ct. 3517, 77 L.Ed.2d 1275 (1983), quoting
Mathiason at 495. (Other citation omitted.)
17} "The subjective views of the interviewing
officer and the suspect are immaterial to the determination
of whether a custodial interrogation was conducted."
(Citations omitted.) L.G.,2017-Ohio-2781, 82 N.E.3d
52 at ¶ 13. "The inquiry whether a person is
subject to custodial interrogation is an objective question,
focusing on how a reasonable person in the ...