State v. Hudson, 29333

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtLEWIS, J.
Citation2022 Ohio 3253
PartiesSTATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee v. JAYLEN BRAXTON HUDSON Defendant-Appellant
Docket Number29333
Decision Date16 September 2022

2022-Ohio-3253

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.

JAYLEN BRAXTON HUDSON Defendant-Appellant

No. 29333

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

September 16, 2022


Criminal Appeal from Municipal Court No. 2020-CRB-2125

STEPHANIE L. COOK, Atty. Reg. No. 0067101 & ANDREW D. SEXTON, Atty. Reg. No. 0070892, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee

BRYAN K. PENICK, Atty. Reg. No. 0071489 & JOANNA W. GISEL, Atty. Reg. No. 0100701, 40 North Main Street, 1900 Stratacache Tower, Dayton, Ohio 45423 Attorneys for Defendant-Appellant

OPINION

LEWIS, J.

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{¶ 1} Defendant-Appellant Jaylen Braxton Hudson appeals his conviction in the Dayton Municipal Court following his no contest plea to one count of voyeurism; other charges were dismissed in exchange for his plea. In support of his appeal, Hudson argues that the trial court erred by overruling his motion to sever the offenses for trial. He further argues that the trial court erred in overruling the motion to suppress his statements as well as the contents of his cell phone. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

I. Facts and Procedural History

{¶ 2} On July 8, 2020, Hudson was charged by way of complaint with two counts of voyeurism, each in violation of R.C. 2907.08(B), misdemeanors of the second degree, and two counts of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, each in violation of R.C. 2917.211, misdemeanors of the second degree. The charges stemmed from allegations that Hudson secretly video recorded a woman in her bathroom in a state of nudity on two occasions and then uploaded the videos to a pornographic website on the internet without her knowledge or permission.

{¶ 3} On September 10, 2020, Hudson filed a motion to suppress, challenging statements Hudson made to Detective Harry Sweigart and the seizure and subsequent search of his cell phone. A hearing on the motion to suppress was held on January 14, 2021, with Detective Sweigart as the State's sole witness.

{¶ 4} Detective Sweigart testified that he had been a detective with the University of Dayton since 1995 and had been in law enforcement since 1978. Sweigart explained

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that on November 6, 2019, S.D.[1] contacted the University of Dayton police department stating that two videos of her were clandestinely taken during the 2017/2018 school year, while she was a student and lived in the University of Dayton housing community. The videos depicted her nude in her bathroom preparing to take a shower or immediately after getting out of the shower on two separate occasions. According to the search warrant that was introduced during the hearing, one video titled "Hot College Girl Dries off after Shower" was uploaded to Pornhub, a legally operated public pornographic website, on February 19, 2019. A second video titled "Hot UD college girl prepares for shower" was uploaded to Pornhub on August 24, 2019. According to S.D., she neither consented to the videos being taken nor to their being uploaded onto Pornhub. S.D. suspected that Hudson was involved, because he was her roommate's boyfriend at the time the videos were taken.

{¶ 5} As a result of the allegations, Sweigart subpoenaed Pornhub's records, which showed that the videos were uploaded by a person with the username Bluejay91 and an email of JaylenHudson23@yahoo.com. The IP address from which at least one of the videos was posted was located in Columbus, Ohio.

{¶ 6} In his attempts to locate Hudson, on December 12, 2019, Sweigart and a uniformed University of Dayton police officer, Officer John Key, went to Hudson's residence in Columbus, but he was not home. Sweigart spoke to Derrick Hudson, Hudson's uncle, and Beverly Hudson, Hudson's mother, both via telephone in his attempts to locate Hudson. They informed him that Hudson had been sick and in the

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hospital recently and Hudson's mother provided Sweigart with Hudson's phone number. That same day, Sweigart got in touch with Hudson via telephone and arranged to meet with him at Wright State University (WSU), where Hudson was attending as a graduate student. Hudson was involved in a project that morning at the university and agreed to meet with Sweigart when he was finished, around 12:30 p.m.; Hudson informed Sweigart of the name of the building in which to meet. As a result, Sweigart and Officer Key went to WSU to interview Hudson. Because they were at another university and Hudson's uncle had contacted the school, a WSU police officer accompanied the University of Dayton officers to the building where Hudson had told Sweigart to meet him. While waiting for Hudson to arrive, the WSU officer and Officer Key left to get coffee while Sweigart waited for Hudson to arrive.

{¶ 7} Around 12:30 p.m., Sweigart observed Hudson coming up the steps to the second floor lounge area where Sweigart was waiting. After Sweigart introduced himself and informed Hudson of the purpose of the interview, Hudson agreed to speak with Sweigart. Behind the lounge area was a large unoccupied conference room which they agreed to use for the interview. The conference room had double glass doors that were unlocked and ceiling-height windows on two walls overlooking an outside parking lot. Although one door was initially open when Sweigart and Hudson entered, Hudson asked to close the door, which he did.

{¶ 8} Once they were both seated, Sweigart informed Hudson that he was not going to arrest him and just wanted to talk. Hudson was not in handcuffs and, besides shaking hands, there was no physical contact during their entire interaction. Only

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Sweigart and Hudson were present in the conference room, and Hudson was not blocked from exiting the doorway. Although Sweigart had a service weapon on his person, it was on his hip covered by a jacket and Sweigart never touched it, brandished it, or discussed having it.

{¶ 9} After explaining to Hudson the details of the case, Sweigart read Hudson his Miranda warnings verbatim from a printed pre-interview form. Hudson filled out the top portion of the form identifying his name and address, the date, time, and location, and then initialed next to each Miranda warning after Sweigart read it out loud. At the end of the rights, Hudson signed his name indicating that the rights had been read to him and that he understood them. The bottom of the form included a waiver section that Hudson was asked to read to himself. Where there was a blank to indicate the amount of years of schooling he had, Hudson wrote his name and then signed the form with two lines.

{¶ 10} During the course of the interview, Hudson admitted that he had purchased a phone charger that had a video camera built into it that captured the two videos in question. He admitted that he had posted the videos on Pornhub but denied posting them anywhere else. Hudson advised that he did not have the camera anymore but that the videos were on his cell phone, which was sitting on the table in front of him during the interview.

{¶ 11} After learning that the videos were on Hudson's cell phone, Sweigart informed Hudson that he would need to take the phone to remove the videos and make sure there was nothing else on there. He explained that "the best way to do it" is to sign a consent to search form so he could take the phone with him and have it analyzed.

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Hudson asked if he could show Sweigart the videos right then to delete them, but Sweigart declined, explaining that the phone was evidence and he would have to take it to a lab guy. Sweigart stated that he could not have anything deleted knowing that there was evidence on the phone. Thereafter, Sweigart completed a consent to search form for the phone and Hudson signed it. When asked, Hudson provided his passcode to his phone and Sweigart placed Hudson's phone on airplane mode to prevent anything from being erased.

{¶ 12} At the conclusion of the approximately one hour interview, Sweigart left with Hudson's cell phone; Hudson was not arrested. The following morning, Sweigart obtained a search warrant for Hudson's phone, which was granted. After the search warrant was signed, he took a copy of it along with Hudson's phone to another officer to perform the search of the phone.

{¶ 13} Beverly Hudson testified on behalf of Hudson at the motion to suppress hearing. Beverly stated that Detective Sweigart had called her on December 12, 2019, looking for her son. She informed him that Hudson was not available and unable to talk because he had just been released from the hospital after an almost two-week long stay. She noted that she told Sweigart that Hudson had lost 50 pounds and was on strong medication. Although Beverly lived in Atlanta, Georgia, she had come up to the hospital to be with Hudson and testified that he had been released from the hospital the day before the interview. She stated that Hudson was 24 years old, had graduated from the University of Dayton, and was getting a post-graduate Master's degree at WS U.She was aware that Hudson had had a dissertation to present on December 12, 2019, but,

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according to her, he was still ill.

{¶ 14} Prior to the motion to suppress hearing, Hudson filed a motion to dismiss one count of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images that was alleged to have occurred on February 19, 2019, which was prior to the effective date of the statute, March 22, 2019. At the hearing, the State did not object to the dismissal, and this count was eventually dismissed. After the suppression hearing, Hudson filed a motion to sever the remaining charges for trial.

{¶ 15} On October 12, 2021, the trial court overruled Hudson's motion to suppress in its entirety. Thereafter, the trial court denied Hudson's motion to sever in its entirety. On December 2, 2021, Hudson entered a no contest plea to one count of voyeurism, and the remaining counts were dismissed. Hudson was found guilty by the...

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