Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Webster, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 86786. Honorable A. Parker Self, Jr., Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: William R. Thornton, Counsel for Appellant.
J. SCHUYLER MARVIN, District Attorney, JOHN M. LAWRENCE, C. SHERBURNE SENTELL, III, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.
Before STEWART, DREW & PITMAN, JJ.
[49,732 La.App. 2 Cir. 1]
A nonunanimous jury convicted Defendant Andre Demery as charged of aggravated rape. The trial court sentenced him to the mandatory term of life imprisonment. Defendant appeals, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to convict him. For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence.
On January 28, 2013, the state filed a bill of indictment charging Defendant with one count of aggravated rape in violation of La. R.S. 14:42(A)(4), stating that on or about or between the dates of October 1, 2012, and November 29, 2012, Defendant committed the aggravated rape of a juvenile, C.S., whose date of birth is June 4, 2000, and who was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged offense, by having anal, oral or vaginal intercourse. On February 4, 2013, Defendant pled not guilty. A jury trial began on April 28, 2014.
Lisa Toland, the principal of Central Elementary, and Mary Cone, the school's counselor, both testified about events that occurred at school on November 29, 2012. Ms. Toland testified that a teacher informed her that students were saying that C.S. was pregnant. Ms. Toland and Ms. Cone stated that they met with C.S. to discuss the rumor. Ms. Toland testified that C.S. admitted that she had been having sex, that she told some of her friends she thought she was pregnant and that the father could be a boy from Gibsland. Ms. Toland noted that C.S. stated her mother did not know about [49,732 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] the situation, but that her father did. Ms. Toland testified that she then contacted C.S.'s mother, Treniece Shehee. She stated that Ms. Shehee came to the school, she explained the circumstances and then C.S. joined them to speak with her mother. Ms. Toland also stated that Ms. Shehee asked C.S. who was the father and:
[C.S.] just kind of put her head down and didn't say anything. And I think we sat there kind of quiet for a little while and [C.S.] wasn't saying anything and [C.S.]'s mom again asked who the dad was? And then she said, could it - it is your dad? And that's when [C.S.] started crying, put her head down, and she said yes.
Ms. Cone stated that C.S. admitted that her father, Defendant, " had done these things to her" and described this revelation as " a big shock." Ms. Cone stated:
[S]he was very quiet and then when she all of a sudden ... just got really ... she looked down. And her shoulder slumped and she said, yes, it is him, because we just did not expect that.
Ms. Toland testified that she then contacted the sheriff's department.
The Webster Parish Sheriff's Office arranged for C.S. to be interviewed at the Gingerbread House Children's Advocacy Center. A video of forensic investigator Alex Person's November 30, ...