Woodall v. State

Decision Date28 October 1974
Docket NumberNo. 1--474A72,1--474A72
Citation162 Ind.App. 39,317 N.E.2d 900
PartiesDanny WOODALL and Jimmy Higdon, Defendants-Appellants, v. STATE of Indiana, Plaintiff-Appellee.
CourtIndiana Appellate Court

John M. Murphy, Bob Good, Shelbyville, for defendants-appellants.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., John E. Meyer, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for plaintiff-appellee.

ROBERTSON, Presiding Judge.

The defendant-appellants (Woodall, Higdon) bring this appeal from their conviction of statutory rape.

They present two contentions:

(1) The evidence is insufficient to support the conviction; and

(2) The conviction is contrary to law since no evidence was presented to show proper venue.

Briefly stated the facts, favorable to the State, are as follows: Miss Loretta Ross, age twelve, had gone to a neighbor's house in the town of Needham where several of her friends were congregated. Woodall and Higdon, acquaintences of Miss Ross, arrived in Higdon's car. When they called to her she got out of another friend's car and approached the defendants. Woodall got out of the car and caught Miss Ross. He threw her into the car in such a way that she hit her head on the dashboard and landed upside down. The defendants placed her between them, rolled up the windows, and drove off. They stopped on a country road, removed her clothes, and both forcibly had sexual intercourse with her. They drove back to the vicinity of her house and let her out. In all, approximately an hour had passed.

Woodall and Higdon first contend that the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict since the conviction was based upon the uncorroborated testimony of the victim. They concede that this argument is contrary to existing Indiana law.

'(I)t is a well settled rule in Indiana that a conviction for rape may be had solely on the testimony of the prosecuting witness and victim.' Grimm v State (1970), 254 Ind. 150, 258 N.E.2d 407, 409.

However, they argue that this general rule could be modified in certain cases to 'protect innocent men from being convicted without endangering the female segment of society from the very vicious crime of rape.' They suggest that uncorroborated testimony of a victim should not be sufficient where corroborative testimony is readily available and the evidence presented is otherwise conflicting.

Our Supreme Court has previously rejected such an argument.

'We concede and acknowledge the possibility that, where the judgment of conviction stands on the uncorroborated evidence of the complainant or alleged victim, alone, a defendant might be 'shopped' or 'framed' or an innocent man unjustly convicted. On the other hand crimes of violence such as murder, rape, or attempts to commit the same seldom take place in broad daylight, in public places, in plain view of numerous spectators or potential witnesses and as a matter of public policy the courts must and have decided which horn of the dilemma constitutes the greater threat and hazard to our society. In this state this Court has held that the uncorroborated testimony of the victim is sufficient to sustain the judgment of conviction. Grimm v. State (1970), Ind., 258 N.E.2d 407.' Douglas v. State (1970), 254 Ind. 517, 261 N.E.2d 567, 578.

Moreover, in the present case, there was evidence corroborative of the victim's testimony. The other young people who were present at the time saw Woodall catch Miss Ross and throw her into the car. They saw her struggle with Woodall and scream as the car drove away. When she returned, these witnesses observed that she was crying, her hair and clothes were disarranged and she was walking with a limp.

The State had the burden of proving that the defendants had carnal knowledge of a female under the age of 16. IC 1971, 35--13--4--3, Ind.Ann.Stat. § 10--4201 (Burns 1956). The testimony of the victim plus the corroborative evidence of the other witnesses was sufficient to satisfy that...

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8 cases
  • Sizemore v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • January 29, 1979
    ...it on that basis in the body of this opinion.7 Butler relies on Quassy. The cases relied upon in Quassy are: Woodall v. State (1974), 162 Ind.App. 39, 317 N.E.2d 900 (essential Fact ); Strickland v. State (1909), 171 Ind. 642, 87 N.E. 12 (venue required to sustain a conviction). Jackson rel......
  • McKinney v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • May 3, 1990
    ...new trial. 1 The defendant has a constitutional right to be tried in the county in which the crime was committed. Woodall v. State (1974), 162 Ind.App. 39, 317 N.E.2d 900, 901. McKinney does not raise the issue of venue in his brief and, therefore, waives it. Venue must be distinguished fro......
  • Butler v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • October 2, 1978
    ...of Appeals of Indiana, Second District held that: Venue is an essential element of any criminal charge in Indiana. See, Woodall v. State (1974), Ind.App., 317 N.E.2d 900; Strickland v. State (1909), 171 Ind. 642, 87 N.E. 12; Indiana Constitution, Article I, § 13. As such the State bears the......
  • Scalf v. State, 2-1179A355
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • August 26, 1981
    ...to prove venue must result in reversal of the conviction. Strickland v. State (1909) 171 Ind. 642, 87 N.E. 12; Woodall v. State (1st Dist. 1974) 162 Ind.App. 39, 317 N.E.2d 900. But as our Supreme Court held in Sizemore v. State (1979) Ind., 395 N.E.2d 783, venue does not go to the guilt or......
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