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State v. Cowdrey

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Sandusky

May 18, 2018

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
Robert J. Cowdrey Appellant

          Trial Court No. 16CR922

          Timothy Braun, Sandusky County Prosecuting Attorney, Mark E. Mulligan and Kaitlin E. Klucas, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, for appellee.

          Danielle C. Kulik, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          OSOWIK, JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} This is an appeal from an April 17, 2017 judgment of the Sandusky County Court of Common Pleas, sentencing appellant to a one-year term of incarceration following appellant's jury conviction on one count of importuning, in violation of R.C. 2907.07(D)(1), a felony of the fifth degree. For the reasons set forth below, this court affirms the judgment of the trial court.

         {¶ 2} Appellant, Robert J. Cowdrey, sets forth the following three assignments of error:

I. The court erred in denying the motion to suppress.
II. The court erred in denying the motion for acquittal.
III. The court erred in sentencing defendant to the maximum prison term.

         {¶ 3} The following undisputed facts are relevant to this appeal. In 2016, appellant, a 52-year-old man from Sandusky County, Ohio, became acquainted with a 13-year-old girl ("victim").

         {¶ 4} Appellant became introduced to the victim through his teenage daughter. Appellant's daughter was dating a boy who was a personal friend of the victim's boyfriend. Subsequent to becoming familiar with the victim, appellant became infatuated with her and eventually obtained her mobile phone number.

         {¶ 5} On February 15, 2016, the victim's mother conducted a routine parental check of her daughter's mobile phone. The victim's mother discovered multiple sexually aggressive, manipulative, and sexually solicitous text messages that appellant had sent to her daughter on January 21, 2016.

         {¶ 6} In a series of increasingly sexualized text messages, appellant inquired of the 13-year-old girl regarding her specific sexual experiences, desires, and activities with her teenage boyfriend. Appellant feigned concern and attempted to manipulate her into privately meeting with appellant so that he could "train" her in various sexual activities.

         {¶ 7} For example, appellant texted the victim, "So do you like your neck kissed a lot * * * slowly working up your lips and kissing you?" Appellant went on to text, "Have you ever touched your breasts and played with them yourself?" The clear objective of appellant's communications with the victim was reflected in appellant's texts stating, "Eas[ier] to show you then explain * * * Like [you] do sexual stuff ...


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