Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case Nos. CR-17-613986-B; CR-17-614959-A; and
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Eben McNair, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney,
L. Ferrara, for appellant.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
MICHELLE J. SHEEHAN, JUDGE
1} Defendant-appellant Rayshon Black
("Black") appeals from his conviction for rape and
kidnapping. After a thorough review of the evidence, we find
the trial court did not err in admitting the victim's
prior consistent statements, defense counsel was not
ineffective for failing to object to the alleged hearsay
statements, and Black's conviction is not against the
manifest weight of the evidence. We therefore affirm.
2} On March 23, 2017, Black was charged in a
three-count indictment: Count 1 - rape in violation of R.C.
2907.02(A)(2); Count 2 - kidnapping in violation of R.C.
2905.01(A)(4) with a sexual motivation specification; and
Count 3 - gross sexual imposition in violation of R.C.
2907.05(A)(5). The charges stem from an incident that
occurred in August 2016. The victim in each count is
Black's stepdaughter, T.S.
3} On August 6, 2018, the matter proceeded to a jury
trial. After the trial court denied Black's Crim.R. 29
motion for dismissal, the jury found Black guilty of rape and
kidnapping in Counts 1 and 2, respectively, and not guilty of
gross sexual imposition in Count 3. The trial court then
imposed a prison sentence of ten years on each count, to be
served concurrently to each other but consecutive to the
sentence imposed in another case at the same sentencing
4} Black now appeals his conviction, assigning three
errors for our review:
I. The trial court reversibly erred in admitting hearsay into
evidence in the form of prior consistent statements of the
alleged victim without proper application of Evid.R.
II. Defense counsel provided ineffective assistance of
counsel by failing to object to hearsay evidence presented at
III. The manifest weight of the evidence did not support a
conviction of Appellant.
Evidence at Trial
5} T.S., who was 21 years old at the time of trial,
has cerebral palsy due to medical complications suffered at
birth. Because of her cerebral palsy, she has difficulty
6} Alicia O'Neill ("O'Neill"), a
speech language pathologist with the Cuyahoga County Board of
Developmental Disabilities, testified concerning her
interaction with the victim, T.S. O'Neill received a
referral in 2017 from an employment and planning support
administrator at the board to assist T.S. in communicating
with potential employers. O'Neill testified that
T.S.'s cerebral palsy has caused a motor speech
impairment. Because of this impairment, T.S. has difficulty
speaking clearly and she could not effectively communicate
with potential employers. O'Neill explained that T.S. can
communicate verbally, but "it can be difficult for
others to understand what she is saying, especially at the
conversational level." O'Neill therefore obtained
equipment such as a computerized touch pad to help T.S.
7} T.S. testified at trial with the assistance of
her touch pad device. In 2016, at the time of the alleged
incident, T.S. was living in a home on Linwood Avenue with
her mother, Priscilla Black ("Priscilla"), and
Priscilla's husband, the defendant. T.S.'s brothers
also lived there.
8} T.S. testified that on August 4, 2016, she was
heading downstairs from her bedroom to get a drink from the
kitchen when Black opened the door of his bedroom, grabbed
T.S. by the arm, and pulled her into his bedroom. T.S. told
Black to "get off me" and "leave me
alone." She stated that Black "kept grabbing me,
and I was yanking away, telling him to get off of me, but * *
* my body can't - ." T.S. testified that she was not
strong enough to fight her stepfather off. T.S. further
stated that after Black got her into his bedroom, he put her
on the bed, took off her shorts and underpants as well as his
shorts, so that he was naked from the waist down, and he
"stuck his penis in [her] vagina." T.S. repeatedly
told Black to get off of her. According to T.S., at one
point, her mother walked in the room and said, "Oh my
God * * * you all can't keep doing what you doing"
and then left the room. Black eventually stopped, and T.S.
left the room to talk to her mother, but her mother would not
listen to her.
9} Thereafter, T.S. took a shower, placed the
clothing she was wearing into the laundry, and later washed
her clothes. The next morning, T.S. sent a text message to
her stepmother, TaJuan Hatcher ("Hatcher"),
[Good morning] mom when u get a chan[ce] may u or my dad call
me please something happen[ed] to me last night and I [know]
that my mom don't believe and what I told her I ask[ed]
her not to tell anyone but I [know] she going to say
something so if u can may u or my dad please call me thank
you this is seri[ous].
10} Hatcher testified that when she received
T.S.'s text she was at work, and she let T.S. know that
she would call her when she got home. She testified that she
did not realize how serious the matter was.
11} T.S. also called her father, Le.S., and left him
a voicemail message asking him to call her back. T.S. told
her father in the message that she needed to talk to him
about something serious. T.S.'s father testified that
T.S. called him between midnight on August 6, 2016, and the
early morning hours of August 7, 2016, but because he is
"not really a phone person," he did not check his
voicemail until later in the day on Sunday, August 7, 2016.
Le.S. testified that although T.S. did not tell him in the
message what happened, she let him know that it was
"serious." Le.S. attempted to return his
daughter's call but the call did not go through. He then
saw T.S. two days later, when T.S.'s sister dropped her
off at his home.
12} On Sunday, August 7, 2016, T.S. went to church
with her friend Marcus Kincaid ("Kincaid") and his
grandmother. After church, T.S. relayed to Kincaid that
something bad had happened to her a couple of days before.
Kincaid testified that after church, T.S. was upset and
13} T.S. stayed with Kincaid until her sister could
pick her up. After her sister picked her up, T.S. stayed with
her sister for a couple of days and told her what had
happened. Then on August 9, 2016, T.S.'s sister brought
T.S. to her father and stepmother's house, where T.S.
told her parents what had happened with Black. Hatcher
testified that when T.S. had come over that Sunday, T.S. was
upset and "scared to talk," but she eventually told
Hatcher and Le.S. that her stepfather raped her. Hatcher took
T.S. to the hospital but T.S. was unable to get a sexual
14} Thereafter, Hatcher and Le.S. drove T.S. to the
police station to report the rape but were not able to meet
with an officer, so they returned home. Because T.S. needed
her hair done and she needed a new phone, Le.S. suggested
that T.S. go to the bank and get her money. Le.S. testified
that he had helped initiate a lawsuit against the hospital
when T.S. was born due to the hospital's alleged
negligence and that T.S. ultimately received a medical
malpractice settlement. He understood that T.S. had an
administrator from the probate court to manage T.S.'s
settlement funds until she turned 18 years old. Neither he
nor Hatcher knew the amount of the settlement.
15} When Le.S. and T.S. went to the bank, they
learned that T.S. "had no money." Le.S. contacted
T.S.'s attorney to inquire about the funds, to "find
out what happened to her money." Thereafter, on August
15, 2016, Le.S. and Hatcher brought T.S. to the police
station for the second time to file a police report
concerning the rape. They also ...