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State v. Norman

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 17, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
PAUL JACOB NORMAN, II Appellant

         Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 194062, Honorable Edward Charles Jacobs, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Douglas Lee Harville, Counsel for Appellant.

          PAUL JACOB NORMAN, II, Pro Se.

          JOHN SCHUYLER MARVIN, District Attorney, Counsel for Appellee.

          CECIL PAXTON CAMPBELL, II JOHN MICHAEL LAWRENCE RICHARD RUSSELL RAY Assistant District Attorneys.

          Before BROWN, WILLIAMS, and STONE, JJ.

          STONE, J.

         The defendant, Paul Jacob Norman, II, was charged by bill of information with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in violation of La. R.S. 14:80. Following a bench trial, Norman was found guilty as charged and subsequently sentenced to five years at hard labor. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         FACTS

         On April 17, 2012, Bossier City Police Detective Shawn Poudrier ("Detective Poudrier") received information from the school resource officer at Rusheon Middle School concerning 13-year-old student, C.S.[1] A family member reported C.S. was involved in a sexual relationship with 26-year-old Paul Jacob Norman, II ("Norman"), who had been living with C.S. and her family. Thereafter, C.S. was interviewed at the Gingerbread House, a children's advocacy center in Shreveport, Louisiana. In her forensic interview, C.S. denied having a sexual relationship with Norman. However, C.S.'s mother, D.S., admitted to police that she was aware of her daughter's sexual relationship with Norman. Moreover, C.S.'s cousins, Rhydonia Gullette ("Gullette") and Jessica Peters ("Peters"), informed police that they previously witnessed Norman and C.S. having sex.

         On May 25, 2012, Norman was charged by bill of information with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in violation of La. R.S. 14:80. Norman chose to represent himself at trial and following a two-day bench trial was found guilty as charged. Thereafter, Norman filed a motion for new trial arguing that the trial court's verdict was contrary to the law and evidence because, among other things, he was not permitted to cross-examine Gullette and Peters. Norman also alleged C.S., who testified at trial that she had sex with Norman multiple times, had been coached into testifying against him. Norman's motion for new trial was denied, and he was sentenced to five years at hard labor. He now appeals.

         DISCUSSION

         Sufficiency of the Evidence

         Norman asserts the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to prove he had sexual intercourse with C.S.[2] In support of his claim, Norman notes that C.S.'s trial testimony is contrary to the initial statements she made in her Gingerbread House interview. Furthermore, Norman contends none of the ...


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