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State v. Williams

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

May 21, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
GREGORY WILLIAMS Defendant-Appellant

          Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017 CR 00066

          For Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO PROSECUTING ATTORNEY KATHLEEN O. TATARSKY ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR

          For Defendant-Appellant MARY G. WARLOP ABNEY LAW OFFICE, LLC

          Hon. John W. Wise, P. J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Wise, P. J.

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant Gregory D. Williams appeals his conviction for rape in the Court of Common Pleas, Stark County. Appellee is the State of Ohio. The relevant facts leading to this appeal are as follows.

         {¶2} On October 19, 2016, the twelve-year-old female victim in this case (hereinafter "child victim") was living with her mother and her siblings in a house just outside the city limits of Canton. Appellant is her father, who apparently lived periodically in the house. That evening the child victim went to bed, wearing a shirt and a pair of pajama shorts. She was a heavy sleeper and kept the door closed on this occasion.

         {¶3} Later that night, the child victim's older brother let appellant inside the house after he was awakened by knocking at one of the exterior doors. The older brother then went back to bed.

         {¶4} At some point after midnight on October 20, 2016, the child victim woke up after hearing her mother, T.J., yelling at appellant. The girl realized her pajama shorts were on the floor, but she had no memory of anything unusual occurring prior to her waking up, although she later reported that her stomach hurt. Her parents continued arguing, and eventually her grandmother came and picked up her and her siblings.

         {¶5} The mother, T.J., later recalled that on the night in question she realized appellant had entered the house, and at some point she went to check on her children. When she entered the child victim's bedroom, she observed appellant with his shorts down and the girl without clothing. She also saw appellant rubbing his penis on the child victim's buttocks, however, she did not see appellant vaginally or anally penetrate the girl. T.J. then started screaming at him. Appellant eventually left the premises.

          {¶6} Deputies from the Stark County Sheriffs Department were then dispatched to the scene.[1]

         {¶7} The child victim, after initially being taken to Aultman Hospital, was transferred to Akron Children's Hospital on October 20, 2016 for treatment and evaluation, at which time she was examined by Dr. Lindsay Kahlenberg, an expert in the field of pediatric emergency medicine. Dr. Kahlenberg also spoke with the mother, but she was not able to interview the girl, who didn't want to talk and remained quiet during the examination process.

         {¶8} On January 17, 2017, appellant was indicted by the Stark County Grand Jury on one count of rape, R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b). He subsequently entered a plea of not guilty.

         {¶9} Appellant thereafter rejected a plea offer, and the matter proceeded to a jury trial on April 11, 2017. As further analyzed infra, among the State's witnesses were Dr. Kahlenberg and three specialists from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (hereinafter "BCI"), one of whom testified via a Skype connection. After the State had ...


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