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Soliciting for prostitution; from Macon City Court-- Judge Baldwin. April 5, 1951.
1. The perjury of a witness is not a ground which requires the grant of a new trial unless it is made to appear that the witness has been duly convicted thereof.
2. It is not error requiring reversal for the trial court to fail to charge, in the absence of request, the law of circumstantial evidence where there is some direct evidence of the guilt of the accused.
3. The verdict was supported by evidence and, having the approval of the trial court, it will not be disturbed by this court.
L. J. Thompson was tried and convicted in the City Court of Macon on an accusation charging him in count one with soliciting for a prostitute, and was acquitted under the second count charging him with receiving money from the proceeds of a woman engaged in prostitution. The evidence showed that the defendant registered in a hotel in Macon with one Virginia Pressley, fifteen years of age, registering her as his wife; that shortly thereafter a bell boy informed him that someone down the hall wanted her; that he told her to go down the hall; that she went to a room designated by the bell boy which was occupied by a police officer of the city and, after some discussion as to price, undressed in his presence; that the police officer then arrested both the witness and the defendant, charging the former with prostitution and the latter with soliciting for a prostitute. The witness testified in detail as to her relations with the defendant to the effect that he and his wife, whom she also described as a prostitute, had enabled her to earn a living in this manner since the age of thirteen; that he had taken her on trips to Florida and Louisiana on various occasions for this purpose and had also found her various locations in Georgia at tourist camps where she stayed for periods of time; that he demanded the funds which she received in this manner and that he remitted to her a part of this money; that when she was located in certain tourist camps she paid half of the proceeds so acquired to the owner of the court and half of the remainder to the defendant; that she had not been a prostitute and had not known how to acquire money by this means until taught by the defendant. The witness also testified that on the night in question the defendant had informed the bell boy that she would "fill dates," and it was for this reason that the bell boy had instructed her to go to the room in question.
Upon conviction the defendant filed a motion on the general grounds which was later amended by the addition of three special grounds, and the overruling of this motion is assigned as error.
(After stating the foregoing facts.)
1. The defendant was convicted on December 6, 1950. On February 22, 1951, Virginia Pressley made an affidavit to the effect that her testimony on the trial of the case was false and was made at the instance of certain State and county authorities, and that in fact the defendant had never solicited any acts of prostitution for her nor received any money from her. The second ground of the amended motion for a new trial urges that because of this affidavit a new trial should be granted on the ground of newly discovered evidence. However, this special ground fails to allege that the witness who made the affidavit has been convicted of perjury, and in the absence of this allegation the affidavit is not cause for the granting of a new trial. See Code, 110-706; Hubbard v. Whatley, 200 Ga. 751 (1-b) (38 S. E. 2d, 738); Stephens v. Pickering, 192 Ga. 199 (1) (15 S. E. 2d, 202). And this is true even though the witness who later declares her testimony was false be the sole witness against the defendant. Morrow v. State, 36 Ga. App. 217 (136 S. E. 92). Refusal to grant a new trial on this ground was not error.
2. The third ground of the amended motion for a new trial contends that the court erred in failing to charge, without request, on circumstantial evidence. Where, as here, there is direct evidence of the guilt of the accused, failure to charge on circumstantial evidence in the absence of request is not error. See Nobles v. State, 127 Ga. 212 (5) (56 S. E. 125); Hegwood v. State, 138 Ga. 274 (1) (75 S. E. 138); Yopp v. State, 175 Ga. 314 (165 S. E. 29). This contention is without merit.
3. The first ground of the amended motion is but an applification of the general grounds, and is considered in connection therewith. The testimony of the State's witness, Virginia Pressley, that the defendant had taught her how to make a livelihood as a prostitute at the age of thirteen, had obtained numerous places of employment for her for this purpose, had brought men to see her, and had insisted on receiving part of the sums received by her, together with the testimony that the defendant registered Virginia Pressley and himself in the hotel at Macon as man and wife, informed a bell boy that she would "fill dates" and instructed her to proceed to fill the date for which the arrest was made, are sufficient to sustain the conviction.
The defendant made a statement in which he denied previous association with the witness and offered an explanation for having registered her in the hotel as his wife, but this explanation was not accepted by the jury.
There being competent evidence from which the jury was authorized to find the defendant guilty under the first count of the accusation, the discretion of the trial court in overruling the motion for a new trial on the general grounds will not be disturbed by this court.
Judgment affirmed. MacIntyre, P. J., and Gardner, J., concur.
Oscar L. Long, Solicitor, contra.
W. O. Cooper Jr., for plaintiff in error.
Saturday May 23 05:38 EDT

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