State v. Remy, No. 2017-CA-7

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtWELBAUM, P.J.
Citation2018 Ohio 2857,117 N.E.3d 916
Parties STATE of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Tamara L. REMY, Defendant-Appellant
Docket NumberNo. 2017-CA-7
Decision Date20 July 2018

117 N.E.3d 916
2018 Ohio 2857

STATE of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
Tamara L. REMY, Defendant-Appellant

No. 2017-CA-7

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Clark County.

Rendered July 20, 2018


ANDREW P. PICKERING, Atty. Reg. No. 0068770, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Clark County Prosecutor's Office, 50 East Columbia Street, Fourth Floor, Springfield, Ohio 45502, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

KIRIAKOS G. KORDALIS, Atty. Reg. No. 0089697, 130 West Second Street, Suite 1818, Dayton, Ohio 45402, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

OPINION

WELBAUM, P.J.

117 N.E.3d 920

{¶ 1} In this case, Defendant-Appellant, Tamara Remy ("Tamara"), appeals from her convictions and sentences on three counts of intimidation, three counts of domestic violence, three counts of endangering children, one count of complicity to rape, one count of rape, and three counts of gross sexual imposition. After a jury trial, Tamara was sentenced to a total of two consecutive life sentences, without the possibility of parole.

{¶ 2} As grounds for her appeal, Tamara contends that the trial court committed various errors, including allowing forensic interviews of her three minor children to be played during the trial, allowing one child to testify via closed circuit television, and finding that the minor children were competent to testify.

{¶ 3} Tamara further contends that she was denied effective assistance of counsel because her trial counsel failed to object to hearsay testimony, failed to object to the court's decision to let the minor child testify outside the courtroom, failed to object to improper expert testimony, and failed to object to admission of an audio recording of the children's abuse allegations. Finally, Tamara contends that her convictions for rape and complicity to rape were not supported by sufficient evidence and were against the manifest weight of the evidence.

{¶ 4} For the reasons discussed below, all of Tamara's assignments of error are without merit. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

I. Facts and Course of Proceedings

{¶ 5} According to the State's evidence at trial, the following facts were established:

{¶ 6} Tamara met Christopher Remy ("Chris") in November 2012, and he moved in with her the following month. They then married in March 2013 and resided in the top half of a duplex in Springfield, Ohio. Tamara had three daughters from a prior relationship: D.C. (born in February 2007), J.C. (born in August 2008), and K.C. (born in March 2010). The girls were six, four, and almost three years old, respectively, when Chris and Tamara married.

{¶ 7} Prior to Tamara's relationship with Chris, the girls' biological father, Ronald C. (also known as "Bub"), had been sentenced to prison. As a result, Tamara began to rely on Rebecca K. ("Becky") for help with the girls. At the time, Becky was the girlfriend of the girls' paternal grandfather. Becky, whom the girls called "Grandma Becky," babysat the children, often cared for them at her home over weekends, and took Tamara to doctors' appointments.

{¶ 8} After the marriage, the girls told Becky that Chris was mean to them, and that he picked on D.C. because she looked the most like Bub. A few months after the marriage, D.C. told Becky that Chris was smacking her and was touching her "privates." When Becky took the girls back to Tamara, she told Tamara about what D.C. had said. Tamara stood there, with no expression on her face. When Becky asked Tamara what she was going to do about it, Tamara said she would make a doctor's appointment to see if the girls had been touched, and they would go from there. Tamara told Becky to take the girls back to her house and bring them back the next day.

117 N.E.3d 921

{¶ 9} After Becky brought the girls back, she did not talk to Tamara for two months because Tamara would not return any of her calls or texts. About two months later, Becky received a text from Tamara, which said, "Please don't take my kids from me." In response, Becky told Tamara that she was not trying to take the children away; she was attempting to protect them and help Tamara. After that, Tamara allowed Becky to see the children again. When the girls came back, Becky asked them if they had been to the doctor, and they said no. Although Becky was confused by this, the girls were acting normally again, so she let it go. At trial, Tamara testified that she and Chris had separated from July 2013 to November 2013, which would have coincided with the general time frame of the above events. However, Tamara did not indicate why they had separated.

{¶ 10} The routine was that the girls would come to Becky's home every weekend. In 2015, Memorial Day was on Monday, May 25, and the girls were with Becky. They had to go back to school on Thursday. On Wednesday of that week, while Becky was giving the girls a bath, J.C. (who was then six years old), stated that D.C. had hit her in the nose and made her "butt bleed." When Becky explained that J.C.'s nose would bleed, not her butt, J.C. said, "Oh well[,] that must have been when Chris was picking in my butt." (Transcript of Proceedings ("Tr.") at p. 367.)

{¶ 11} With the girls' knowledge, Becky made a recording with a voice recorder on her phone (State's Ex. 1). Becky thought she needed to make a recording because she had already told Tamara about things the girls had said the year before, and nothing had been done. The girls were afraid and asked Becky not to tell Tamara or Chris. Becky told them not to tell their mother or Chris about the recording. She then let the girls go home because she was not sure what to do. At that point, Becky decided to get Bub's family involved since she was not biologically related to the girls.

{¶ 12} Becky testified that she contacted Kayleigh (Bub's sister) and Logan (Bub's first cousin) about the girls' allegations. That Friday afternoon, May 29, Logan was at Becky's house because every Friday, like clockwork, Chris brought the girls over for the weekend after they got out of school. However, Chris did not show up that day. When Becky contacted Tamara to find out why, Chris answered the phone and said the girls could not come because all three of them had poison ivy, head to toe. Becky found this unlikely, since she had just seen the girls a few days earlier.

{¶ 13} Logan and Kayleigh both listened to the recordings on Friday, May 29, 2015, and decided to call the police. Logan contacted the police and reported that his three young cousins had possibly been sexually assaulted by their stepfather. At about 4:30 p.m. that day, Springfield Police Officer Roger Jenkins responded to Logan's report and met with Logan and Kayleigh at a vacant lot near Tamara's house. They played the recording for Jenkins, who then contacted his supervisor, Sergeant Doug Pergram. After consulting with Jenkins, Pergram called other officers, including Detective Sandra Fent of the Crimes Against Persons Unit, Juvenile Division. Shelby Lowe, a social worker at the Child Advocacy Center ("CAC") also came to Tamara's house on a "rapid response referral," because the call occurred after normal work hours. The CAC is part of the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, but is also part of a multi-disciplinary team that attempts to reduce trauma to children who allege abuse or neglect.

117 N.E.3d 922

{¶ 14} Detective Fent and Officer Jenkins approached the Remy residence, where they encountered Chris and D.C.; J.C. and K.C. were with family members at Wal-Mart, where Tamara worked. Detective Fent and Lowe decided to interview the girls immediately at the CAC, and Fent drove D.C. to the CAC. After Tamara and the other two girls returned home, she and her grandfather, Jerry M., were asked to drive the two girls to the CAC.

{¶ 15} Lowe, the CAC social worker, conducted separate forensic interviews of D.C., J.C., and K.C., all of which were video-recorded; Detective Fent watched a live-feed of the interviews from an observation room. While K.C. was waiting and playing in the CAC lobby, she approached Sergeant Pergram and spontaneously said, "Chris puts his pee hole in my mouth." Tr. at p. 435. After hearing this, Pergram informed Detective Fent of K.C.'s statement.

{¶ 16} After finishing the interviews of each child, Lowe and Detective Fent decided that the girls could not be safely returned to their home. They consulted Tamara about where the girls could be placed, and Tamara immediately said she did not want the girls to go with Becky. The girls were then placed with their paternal grandmother and her husband, and Tamara agreed to that plan.1

{¶ 17} During her interview with Lowe, K.C. had disclosed the occurrence of sexual abuse within the past 72 hours, so Lowe referred K.C. to Dayton Children's Hospital for a medical examination. That night (May 29, 2015), the grandparents took K.C. to Dayton Children's, where an emergency department social worker, Belinda Dewberry, interviewed K.C. Dr. Vipul Garg also examined K.C. Dewberry learned from the grandmother that Chris had allegedly "put his weiner" in K.C.'s mouth and that Chris had hit K.C.'s head and slammed her on the bed. This information was placed in K.C.'s medical records. In addition, K.C. told Dr. Garg that Chris put his "weiner in her mouth" while...

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4 practice notes
  • State v. Pate, 28702
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 28 Mayo 2021
    ...the context of the children's mother's appeal from her own convictions related to her husband's abuse. In State v. Remy , 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916 (2d Dist.), we explicitly recognized that "some statements" made during the children's interviews at the child-advocacy center &......
  • State v. Pate, Appellate Case No. 28702
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 28 Mayo 2021
    ...the context of the children's mother's appeal from her own convictions related to her husband's abuse. In State v. Remy, 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916 (2d Dist.), we explicitly recognized that "some statements" made during the children's interviews at the child-advocacy center &q......
  • State v. Moore, No. 2018-CA-14
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 3 Mayo 2019
    ...context of the children's mother's appeal from her own convictions related to her husband's abuse.3 In State v. Remy , 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916 (2d Dist.), we explicitly recognized that "some statements" made during the children's interviews at the child-advocacy center &quo......
  • State v. Messenger, 21 CO 0017
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 18 Agosto 2022
    ...on the Tuesday before the trial, then filed the motion on the Thursday before trial. The state cites State v. Remy , 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916, for the proposition that a R.C. 2945.481 motion may be filed during the trial, therefore, the state's failure to comply with the seven-day req......
3 cases
  • State v. Pate, 28702
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 28 Mayo 2021
    ...the context of the children's mother's appeal from her own convictions related to her husband's abuse. In State v. Remy , 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916 (2d Dist.), we explicitly recognized that "some statements" made during the children's interviews at the child-advocacy center "may have b......
  • State v. Pate, Appellate Case No. 28702
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 28 Mayo 2021
    ...the context of the children's mother's appeal from her own convictions related to her husband's abuse. In State v. Remy, 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916 (2d Dist.), we explicitly recognized that "some statements" made during the children's interviews at the child-advocacy center "may have be......
  • State v. Moore, No. 2018-CA-14
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • 3 Mayo 2019
    ...context of the children's mother's appeal from her own convictions related to her husband's abuse.3 In State v. Remy , 2018-Ohio-2857, 117 N.E.3d 916 (2d Dist.), we explicitly recognized that "some statements" made during the children's interviews at the child-advocacy center "may have been......

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