Brown v. State, A21A1672

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Writing for the CourtBrown, Judge.
Citation362 Ga.App. 377,868 S.E.2d 493
Decision Date26 January 2022
Docket NumberA21A1672
Parties BROWN v. The STATE.

362 Ga.App. 377
868 S.E.2d 493

BROWN
v.
The STATE.

A21A1672

Court of Appeals of Georgia.

January 26, 2022


868 S.E.2d 495

Dell Jackson, for Appellant.

Sherry Boston, Decatur, Jason Matthew Rea, Atlanta, for Appellee.

Brown, Judge.

362 Ga.App. 377

Following a jury trial, Frank Brown was convicted of statutory rape. He appeals his conviction and the trial court's denial of his amended motion for new trial, contending that insufficient evidence supports his conviction and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We find no error and affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, see Allen v. State , 361 Ga. App. 300, 301, 864 S.E.2d 149 (2021), the evidence presented at trial showed that the victim, 14-year-old D. H., went to live with an older half-sister, Santresia, after being shuffled between family members. D. H. testified that her parents had issues with drugs, that the aunt she had been living with beat her, and that she thought Santresia had a home where she could stay. However, Santresia had been living out of motels with her two small children and two other sisters, Shaniqua and Sharmaine, and exchanging money for sex.

362 Ga.App. 378

D. H. began living with them in motels, and after a few months, D. H. "was put into the sex game by [Santresia]." D. H. testified that she went along with it because Santresia reminded her that she was alone and had nowhere else to go and that her nieces and nephews would have no where to sleep. When D. H. would tell Santresia she wanted to stop, Santresia would hit her. According to D. H., Santresia advertised D. H.’s "services" on Craigslist and Backpage and interested customers would call a phone number to speak with Santresia and arrange a "date." In the ads, D. H. went by the name of "Brandy," and her age was advertised as 18. D. H. testified that she sometimes would tell the men who showed up to have sex with her that she was only 15 years old in hopes that they would leave, "[b]ut most ... didn't care ... they will still ... have sex with a 15-year-old."

DeKalb County police began a sting operation after seeing "Brandy's" ad, and an undercover officer set up a "date" for sex over the phone with D. H. He came to the motel, entered D. H.’s room, and handed over money before police entered. D. H. testified that she knew when talking to the man on the phone that he was law enforcement, but she gave him the address because she wanted help. D. H. showed police phone numbers in her cell phone that were associated with customers. D. H. also picked out two men from photographic lineups as ones who had sex with her. One of the men was Brown.

After police interviewed D. H., they set up a "reverse operation," in which an undercover female agent posed as D. H. and used D. H.’s cell phone to communicate with potential customers. While the agent had D. H.’s phone, Brown texted D. H., asking if she was "workn" and if he could have a "Qv" or a "quick visit." The undercover agent responded to the texts and gave Brown a hotel room number. When Brown arrived, he was arrested.

Phone records showed that the number associated with Brown's cell phone had texted and called D. H.’s cell phone number multiple times, including two days prior to police discovering D. H. In addition, D. H.’s phone number was saved in Brown's phone as "Brandy." Brown was interviewed by police and a recording of the interview was played during the trial. Brown admitted having sex with a girl called "Brandy." According to one detective, the description Brown gave in the interview "fit" D. H. who was "a distinct individual from her sisters." The detective testified that D. H. was "distinctively different" from the other sisters because they were mildly obese and D. H. had an athletic build. During the trial, D. H. identified Brown as one of the men she had informed of her age, but who nonetheless had sex with her.

868 S.E.2d 496
362 Ga.App. 379

Brown was charged with pandering for a person under 18 and statutory rape. The jury found Brown guilty of statutory rape, but not guilty of the pandering charge. Brown filed a motion for new trial, and the trial court denied the motion, as amended. This appeal followed.

1. Brown challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, contending that there is insufficient evidence to show that he had sex with D. H. rather than her older sister, Sharmaine. We disagree.

When we consider the sufficiency of evidence, the defendant no longer enjoys a presumption of innocence, and the relevant question is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. Critically, our review leaves to the jury the resolution of conflicts or inconsistencies in the evidence, credibility of witnesses, and reasonable inferences to be made from the evidence.

(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Reid v. State , 361 Ga. App. 617, 618–21 (1), 865 S.E.2d 245 (2021).

During Brown's interview with police, he stated that the girl he had sex with had apologized about broken glass on the floor from a fight with her boyfriend. Santresia...

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1 practice notes
  • Roberts v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, A21A1598
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 26 Enero 2022
    ...moved this Court to dismiss the May appeal, arguing that because no substitution of party was made in the trial court following Roberts’ 868 S.E.2d 493 death, the notice of appeal in that case was a nullity. Roberts’ attorney responded to the motion, asserting that on May 13, 2021, five day......
1 cases
  • Roberts v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, A21A1598
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 26 Enero 2022
    ...moved this Court to dismiss the May appeal, arguing that because no substitution of party was made in the trial court following Roberts’ 868 S.E.2d 493 death, the notice of appeal in that case was a nullity. Roberts’ attorney responded to the motion, asserting that on May 13, 2021, five day......

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