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Johnson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 23, 2019

ROSCOE JOHNSON A/K/A ROSCOE LERNERD JOHNSON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/05/2018

          LEFLORE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CAROL L. WHITE-RICHARD TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: MOLLIE MARIE McMILLIN

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: WILLIE DEWAYNE RICHARDSON

          BEFORE J. WILSON, P.J., TINDELL AND LAWRENCE, JJ.

          LAWRENCE, J.

         ¶1. Roscoe Johnson was indicted for sexual battery in accordance with Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-95(2) (Rev. 2014). On December 11, 2017, a Leflore County jury found Johnson guilty as charged. The circuit court sentenced Johnson to fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with five years suspended and ten years to serve, followed by five years of post-release supervision. In this direct appeal, Johnson argues that his counsel was ineffective at trial. The present record before us is insufficient to address the claim; therefore, we decline to address the merits without prejudice and affirm the verdict and sentence.[1]

         FACTS

         ¶2. Until December 2015, Roscoe Johnson lived with his wife, Calanthia, and her two grandchildren, SM and CD.[2] Calanthia worked for the local hospital, which meant Johnson was responsible for the children's care after school. CD testified that, in August 2015, Johnson began to touch her inappropriately. CD described five separate instances of abuse involving Johnson. All five occurred in August 2015. At the time of the abuse, CD was sixteen years old.

         ¶3. CD testified that Johnson began touching her buttocks on the outside of her clothing while she was in the kitchen of their home. After CD told Johnson not to touch her, he stopped. Two days after the first incident, Johnson again grabbed CD on her buttocks. During this instance, Johnson told CD to "[not] tell [her] grandmother that [he] did it." The abuse then progressed to Johnson touching CD in her "front area," which she later identified as her vagina. CD was standing up in the living room when Johnson approached her and put his hands inside of her clothes and started to insert his finger into her vagina. Johnson told CD he "wanted to make [her] feel good." CD testified that she moved his hand and told him again not to touch her. She then went to her bedroom.

         ¶4. About a day after the third incident, Johnson dragged CD from the living room into his bedroom when she arrived home from school. CD tried to resist and grabbed the doorway, but Johnson pulled her inside. CD again tried to resist Johnson's advances by falling on the floor, but Johnson continued to drag her once she fell. Johnson then closed the door to the bedroom. CD ran to the other side of the room but could not escape. Johnson pushed her onto the bed and took off her pants and underwear. He then took off his own pants and underwear. Johnson assaulted CD by licking her vagina and attempting to insert his penis into her vagina and anus but was unsuccessful. CD testified that Johnson told her again that he wanted to make her feel good and to not tell her grandmother "because it will ruin [their] marriage." CD escaped by kicking Johnson in his penis.

         ¶5. The final alleged incident was similar to when Johnson had previously dragged CD into his bedroom. This time, however, CD testified that Johnson showed her a pornographic video and again tried to put his penis in her vagina and anus after performing oral sex on the minor child. This fifth encounter ended with CD telling Johnson "[y]ou can't keep doing this to me. You're my grandfather. I'm suppose to look up to you. You're suppose to take care of me, not hurt me." After that, Johnson stopped abusing CD.

         ¶6. The record indicates that around the time of the abuse, Johnson was drinking excessively and using crack cocaine. Johnson testified at trial that CD had fabricated the abuse because she was angry that Johnson disciplined her for flirting with boys and for sending lewd text messages ...


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