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State v. Gooden

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

July 18, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHARLES GOODEN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-17-624367-A

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Frank Romeo Zeleznikar, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Thomas A Rein, for appellant.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          ANITA LASTER MAYS, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Charles Gooden ("Gooden") appeals his convictions for multiple sexual assault and related charges involving a victim under the age of 13 years old. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Background and History

         {¶ 2} On January 5, 2018, Gooden was indicted for multiple rape and kidnapping charges including sexual motivation specifications and witness intimidation. On July 19, 2018, Gooden entered a guilty plea to:

Rape, R.C. 2907.02(A)(2), a first-degree felony, as amended in Counts 1 and 3 of the indictment;
Attempted rape, R.C. 2923.02/2907.02(A)(2), a second-degree felony as amended in Count 5 of the indictment;
Intimidation of crime victim or witness, R.C. 2921.04(B), a third-degree felony, as charged in Count 8 of the indictment.

         Journal entry No. 104672454 (July 19, 2018). Counts 2, 4, 6, and 7 were nolled.

         {¶ 3} The charges involved alleged sexual activity between then 14-year-old Gooden and a 10-year-old female relative. Gooden is charged as an adult because he was 21 years of age at the time of the disclosure. According to the record, the date of the offense is listed as January 1, 2013, and the case was filed December 19, 2017, nine days after Gooden's twenty-first birthday.

         {¶ 4} The morning of the July 19, 2018 trial date, Gooden waived his right to a jury trial and the parties discussed the charges and a potential plea agreement. During that exchange, defense counsel stated for the record:

It's also my understanding between discussions with the [c]ourt and the prosecutor and myself, and I advised my client as well, that the [c]ourt is looking between five and seven years as a sentence in this case to run concurrent with the three years he's already received on his three other cases, I believe. So, based upon that, he does want to plead guilty at this time.

         (Tr. 13.) The state added, "just to be clear, there wasn't an agreed sentence between the parties." Id.

         {¶ 5} The following exchange occurred during the colloquy:

Court: Has anyone made you any promises, threatened you, or offered you anything in order to cause you to enter into this plea other than what we've put on the record today in open court?
Defendant: Yes.
Court: What's that?
Defendant: What me - what we discussed earlier?
Defense Counsel: The possible sentence we discussed.
Court: Yeah, that's been put on the record. ...

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