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Child molestation. Coweta Superior Court. Before Judge Lee.
Jeffrey Neal Boynton appeals his judgment of conviction for two counts of child molestation, and his sentence.
Appellant denied committing the acts and asserted that he had been accused as part of a family conspiracy to destroy his marriage -- appellant was age 22 when he married his 15-year-old wife. He also denied asking the victim's sister if he could touch her breasts. His testimony was partially corroborated by his wife who testified appellant was never alone with the girls; that if something had happened and the girls had cried out she would have heard them; and that she believed her husband. Two character witnesses testified in appellant's behalf. Held:
1. Appellant asserts that the trial court erred by admitting, over appellant's objection, the testimony of the sister regarding another similar transaction. Appellant argues, inter alia, that the alleged similar transaction evidence does not involve the same victim as the charges nor does it involve "molestation acts" perpetrated in front of or against a different victim; rather, the transaction involved is "conversation" between appellant and the victim's sister, and the "conversation" does not concern any 'acts" which allegedly occurred with the victim.
Assuming without deciding the similar transaction conduct was accomplished by conversations rather than non-verbal acts, it nevertheless involved a form of criminal solicitation or enticement. Compare OCGA 16-4-7 and 16-6-5.
Evidence of similar transactions or crimes is admissible where its relevance to prove identity, motive, intent, bent of mind, absence of mistake or accident, plan or scheme, or course of conduct, outweighs its prejudicial impact, and further provided the requisite two-prong test of Williams v. State, 251 Ga. 749, 755 (312 SE2d 40) and Anderson v. State, 184 Ga. App. 293, 294 (361 SE2d 270) has been met. Oller v. State, 187 Ga. App. 818 (2) (371 SE2d 455).
2. Appellant asserts the verdict was contrary to the evidence and the principles of justice. On appeal the evidence must be viewed in a light most favorable to the verdict, and appellant no longer enjoys a presumption of innocence; moreover, this court determines evidence sufficiency, and does not weigh the evidence or determine witness credibility. Grant v. State, 195 Ga. App. 463 (1) (393 SE2d 737). Review of the transcript in a light most favorable to the jury's verdict reveals ample evidence from which any rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant was guilty of the offenses of which he was convicted. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (99 SC 2781, 61 LE2d 560).
William G. Hamrick, Jr., District Attorney, Agnes T. McCabe, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.
Mathews, Knight & Harwell, Ronald H. Harwell, for appellant.
Saturday May 23 06:54 EDT

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