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State v. McCarrel

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

July 23, 2019

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Shatwan L. McCarrel, Defendant-Appellant.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County C.P.C. No. 16CR-5074 Court of Common Pleas

         On brief:

          Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Steven L. Taylor, for appellee.

          Blaise G. Baker, for appellant.

          DECISION

          BROWN, J.

         {¶ 1} This is an appeal by defendant-appellant, Shatwan L. McCarrel, from a judgment of conviction and sentence entered by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas following a jury verdict finding him guilty of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and breaking and entering.

         {¶ 2} On September 15, 2016, appellant was indicted on two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, in violation of R.C. 2907.04, and one count of breaking and entering, in violation of R.C. 2911.13. The indictment alleged the offenses occurred on September 4, 2016. The indictment further alleged appellant had previously been convicted of a violation of R.C. 2907.04, "to wit: December 19, 2012 in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, * * * Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor."

         {¶ 3} The matter came for trial before a jury beginning August 13, 2018. The first witness for the state was C.P., age 15. C.P., whose birthday is September 28, 2002, was 13 years of age during the events charged in the indictment. C.P. resides primarily with her mother, but she sometimes stays with her father, L.P., who resides on South Wheatland Avenue.

         {¶ 4} In September 2016, C.P. was staying with her father. C.P. has a friend, Mikayla, who lives nearby on Apple Street with her mother, sister, and brother. Mikalyla's mother dated an individual who went by the nickname "Shy-Shy," and who C.P. identified at trial as appellant. (Tr. Vol. I at 50.) C.P. had informed appellant as to her age.

         {¶ 5} On two occasions, C.P. accompanied appellant to an abandoned house located next door to Mikayla's residence. On the first occasion, C.P. went to the premises with Mikayla and appellant. In order to gain entry, appellant broke a window on the first floor; once inside, appellant took a toilet seat from the bathroom of the residence. Appellant took the item because "[t]he toilet seat was broken over at Mikayla's [house]." (Tr. Vol. I at 51.)

         {¶ 6} Later that same day, C.P. went to the abandoned house with just appellant. They entered through the broken window and went upstairs. Appellant removed C.P.'s shorts and underwear. C.P. and appellant had previously discussed "what we were going to do basically." (Tr. Vol. I at 56.) C.P. testified that appellant inserted his penis inside her vagina. Appellant also placed his mouth and fingers inside her vagina. C.P. and appellant then went back to Mikayla's house. Later that evening, C.P. returned to her father's house; she did not tell her father what had happened.

         {¶ 7} C.P. testified she later posted messages to appellant on a private Facebook account and one of her messages to him included an inquiry whether he had used a condom, to which he responded no. C.P. stated that appellant's Facebook name was "Shy-Loco." (Tr. Vol. I at 61.)

         {¶ 8} At trial, plaintiff-appellee, the State of Ohio, introduced several exhibits containing screenshots of Facebook messages, and C.P. identified the exhibits as messages she exchanged with appellant. Defense counsel objected to the introduction of state's Exhibit No. A3, one of the Facebook screenshots. The trial court overruled the objection.

         {¶ 9} C.P. testified she used her father's cell phone during the events because her phone had been stolen. C.P.'s father later observed some of the Facebook messages. As a result, C.P. was taken to a hospital and examined by a nurse. C.P.'s father also contacted police officers. The officers subsequently showed C.P. a photographic array; C.P. chose a photograph from the array, and she identified appellant at trial.

         {¶ 10} L.P., the father of C.P., resides on South Wheatland Avenue. L.P. testified he has a shared custody arrangement with C.P.'s mother, and C.P. was staying with him on Labor Day weekend, September 2016. During that visit, L.P. became suspicious of C.P.'s behavior. C.P. had used her father's cell phone, and L.P. observed messages on the phone from an app that had been left open. Based on the messages he read, L.P. believed "somebody had sexual contact with my daughter." (Tr. Vol. I at 108.) L.P. was ...


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