FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 2017 CRC-I 000042
V. GEDROCK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and ANDREA D. UHLER, Assistant
Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
S. CALLAHAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Appellant, Steven Sharier, appeals his conviction by the
Wayne County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.
On August 29, 2016, M.W. found an undated note in her teenage
stepdaughter's bedroom that seemed to indicate that she
had a romantic interest in a man named Steve. M.W. learned
that "Steve" probably referred to an adult friend
of her stepdaughter's mother. She then confronted her
stepdaughter, K.W., about the contents of the note. K.W.
denied that she had been sexually involved with the man to
whom the note referred. A few days later, however, K.W. left
a note for her stepmother in which she apologized for lying
and admitted that she had gone to the home of a man named
Steve during school hours and stated that "he made [her]
have sex with him."
M.W. immediately pulled K.W. from school and drove her to the
Wayne County Sheriffs Office. K.W. gave a statement to
Lieutenant Ryan Koster, who used computer records to identify
Mr. Sharier as the suspect. Lieutenant Koster also referred
K.W. to the Wayne County Child Advocacy Center for a forensic
interview, which was conducted on September 13, 2016. In the
next month, K.W. placed a controlled, recorded telephone call
to Mr. Sharier after initiating contact with him through a
series of text messages. Mr. Sharier was interviewed by a
detective in January 2017, and shortly thereafter was charged
with unlawful sexual contact with a minor in violation of
The State filed a motion in limine to exclude any extrinsic
evidence related to prior accusations of sexual abuse made by
K.W. against another individual under Evid.R. 608(B). The
trial court conducted a hearing on the motion and excluded
all such evidence, but did so based on application of
State v. Boggs, 63 Ohio St.3d 418 (1992). The case
proceeded to a jury trial that resulted in a verdict of
guilty, and the trial court sentenced Mr. Sharier to five
years in prison. He then filed this appeal.
OF ERROR NO. 1
TRIAL COURT ERRED [BY] NOT DISMISSING THE INDICTMENT BASED ON
In his first assignment of error, Mr. Sharier urges this
Court to articulate a heightened standard of review to assess
the sufficiency of the evidence. This Court declines to do
The due process secured by the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution guarantees "that no person
shall be made to suffer the onus of a criminal conviction
except upon sufficient proof-defined as evidence necessary to
convince a trier of fact beyond a reasonable doubt of the
existence of every element of the offense." Jackson
v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 316 (1979). In applying this
standard, courts do not evaluate credibility, and we make all
reasonable inferences in favor of the State. State v.
Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, 273 (1991).
Mr. Sharier has not argued that the evidence at trial failed
to meet this standard. Instead, he urges this Court to adopt
a heightened measure of sufficiency because of the
"sensitive, emotional, and now political nature" of
sex offenses. The existing standard, however, comports with
due process and is applied in cases of all kinds. See,
e.g., State v. Myers, 154 Ohio St.3d 405,
2018-Ohio-1903, ¶ 132 (aggravated murder with death
penalty specifications); State v. Clinton, 153 Ohio
St.3d 422, 2017-Ohio-9423, ¶ 165, 177-181 (rape);
State v. Tate, 140 Ohio St.3d 442, 2014-Ohio-3667,
¶ 15-20 (gross sexual imposition and kidnapping). This
same standard is consistently applied when a defendant is
convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. State
v. Shank, 9th Dist. Medina No. 12CA0104-M,
2013-Ohio-5368, ¶ 21-25; State v. Watson, 9th
Dist. Summit No. 25915, 2012-Ohio-1624, ¶ 5-7.
This Court declines to depart from the standard of
sufficiency set forth in Jackson and Jenks.
Mr. Sharier's first assignment of error is overruled.
OF ERROR NO. 2
TRIAL COURT ERRED BY NOT ALLOWING THE JURY TO KNOW ABOUT THE
ALLEGED VICTIM'S PAST UNSUBSTANTIATED SEXUAL ABUSE
ALLEGATIONS THAT SHE ADMITTED WERE FALSE.
Mr. Sharier's second assignment of error argues that the
trial court erred by excluding extrinsic evidence related to
a prior allegation of sexual abuse that K.W. made against a
family member under the rape shield law. Mr. Sharier did not
object in the trial court on this basis, as he ...