Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
Nos. CR-15-600080-A and CR-16-607905-B
L. Doughten David L. Doughten, ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT
Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Holly
Welsh Assistant County Prosecutor ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
BEFORE: Blackmon, J., S. Gallagher, P.J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, J.
Defendant-appellant, Sharonika D. Allen ("Allen"),
appeals from her guilty pleas in two cases. Allen assigns the
following error for our review:
[Allen's] guilty plea was not entered knowingly,
intelligently and voluntarily as the trial court misinformed
her that the charged offense included mandatory time,
resulting in the appellant accepting a plea to a lesser
offense which did not require a mandatory term of
Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm. The
apposite facts follow.
On October 23, 2015, Allen was indicted in Case No.
CR-15-600080 for one count of escape in violation of R.C.
2921.34(A)(3) for failing to report as required under the
terms of postrelease control ordered in Case No.
CR-11-548831. On July 12, 2016, Allen and two codefendants
were also indicted in Case No. CR-16-607905. As is relevant
herein, Allen was charged with four counts of trafficking in
persons in violation of R.C. 2905.32 (Counts 1, 4, 9 and 17),
three counts of compelling prostitution in violation of R.C.
2907.21(A)(2)(A) (Counts 2, 10, and 18), five counts of
kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2) (Counts 3, 6,
11, 16, and 19), one count of promoting prostitution in
violation of R.C. 2907.22(A)(2) (Count 5), one count of rape
in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2) (Count 13), and one count
of robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(2) (Count 15).
Allen subsequently entered into a plea agreement with the
state whereby she pled guilty to the escape charge in Case
No. CR-15-600080, and one count of trafficking in persons in
Case No. CR-16-607905, that was amended from a first-degree
felony to a second-degree felony (reduced Count 1). All
remaining charges were dismissed.
Allen was subsequently sentenced to a six-month term for
escape, to be served consecutively to an eight-year term for
attempted trafficking in persons.
In her sole assigned error, Allen argues that her guilty plea
was not knowingly and voluntarily made because the trial
court improperly informed Allen that as originally charged,
first-degree felony trafficking in persons carried a
mandatory term of incarceration, and that by pleading to a
lesser included offense that did not require a mandatory
sentence, she could also avail herself of programs in the
prison and possibly judicial release.
With regard to the procedural law, we note that if a guilty
plea is not made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily,
then it is unconstitutional under both the United States
Constitution and the Ohio Constitution. State v.
Engle,74 Ohio St.3d 525, 527, 1996-Ohio-179, 660 N.E.2d
450. Under Crim.R. 11(C)(2), the trial court ...