from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 335740 Honorable Katherine
Clark Dorroh, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.
REBECCA ARMAND EDWARDS ROSS STEWART OWEN JASON WAYNE WALTMAN
Assistant District Attorneys.
WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and STONE, JJ.
defendant, Roy Leon Robertson, was charged by grand jury
indictment with aggravated rape of a person under the age of
12, in violation of La. R.S. 14:42. Following a jury trial,
Robertson was found guilty as charged, and sentenced to life
imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence. For the following
reasons, we affirm Robertson's conviction. We vacate
Robertson's life sentence and sentence him to 20 years
without restriction on parole, probation, or suspension of
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
November 17, 2015, a grand jury indicted the defendant, Roy
Lee Robertson ("Robertson"), for the aggravated
rape of his daughter, T.N., occurring between February 12,
1972, and February 12, 1976. Robertson waived arraignment and
pled not guilty.
a jury trial, the state presented testimony from T.N. and
other victims whom Robertson molested and raped during their
childhood. Robertson did not testify at trial nor did he
present any witnesses. After deliberation, the jury
unanimously found Robertson guilty as charged. The trial
court denied Robertson's motion for post-verdict judgment
acquittal, noting that it had listened carefully to the
testimony and was satisfied that the evidence was sufficient
to prove Robertson was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of
the aggravated rape of T.N. This appeal ensued.
to trial, the state filed a notice of intent to use the
following evidence of other similar sexual assaults committed
by Robertson, pursuant to La. C.E. art. 412.2:
• Robertson repeatedly raped and molested his juvenile
granddaughter, R.S., whose date of birth is 12/01/2000, from
the time she was approximately six years old until she was 14
years of age.
• Robertson repeatedly raped and molested his juvenile
daughter, D.J., whose date of birth is 01/27/1963, from the
time she was approximately six years old until she was 14
years of age.
contends the evidence, along with T.N.'s testimony, was
insufficient to sustain his conviction for aggravated rape of
T.N. Robertson argues T.N.'s and D.J.'s testimony
lacked credibility because: 1) they did not provide a
reasonable explanation for waiting almost 40 years to report
the alleged sexual abuse; and, 2) they have mental health
issues. When viewed in the light most favorable to the
prosecution, this Court finds that the state presented
sufficient evidence to prove Robertson committed aggravated
rape of T.N.
standard of appellate review for a sufficiency of the
evidence claim is whether, after viewing the evidence in the
light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier
of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d
560 (1979); State v. Tate, 2001-1658 (La.
05/20/03), 851 So.2d 921, cert. denied, 541 U.S.
905, 124 S.Ct. 1604, 158 L.Ed.2d 248 (2004); State v.
Carter, 42, 894 (La.App. 2 Cir. 01/09/08), 974 So.2d
181, writ denied, 2008-0499 (La. 11/14/08), 996
So.2d 1086; State v. Crossley, 48, 149 (La.App. 2
Cir. 06/26/13), 117 So.3d 585, writ denied,
2013-1798 (La. 02/14/14), 132 So.3d 410. This standard, now
legislatively embodied in La.C.Cr.P. art. 821, does not
provide the appellate court with a vehicle to substitute its
own appreciation of the evidence for that of the fact finder.
State v. Pigford, 2005-0477 (La. 02/22/06), 922
So.2d 517; State v. Dotie, 43, 819 (La.App. 2 Cir.
01/14/09), 1 So.3d 833, writ denied, 2009-0310 (La.
11/06/09), 21 So.3d 297; State v. Crossley, supra.
absence of internal contradiction or irreconcilable conflict
with physical evidence, one witness' testimony, if
believed by the trier of fact, is sufficient support for a
requisite factual conclusion. State v. Wiltcher, 41,
981 (La.App. 2 Cir. 05/09/07), 956 So.2d 769; State v.
Burd, 40, 480 (La.App. 2 Cir. 01/27/06), 921 So.2d 219,
writ denied, 2006-1083 (La. 11/09/06), 941 So.2d 35.
Likewise, the sole testimony of a sexual assault victim is
sufficient to support a requisite factual finding. State
v. Lewis, 50, 546 (La.App. 2 Cir. 05/04/16), 195 So.3d
495, writ denied, 2016-1052 (La. 05/01/17), 219
So.3d 330; State v. Demery, 49, 732 (La.App. 2 Cir.
05/20/15), 165 So.3d 1175, writ denied, 2015-1072 (La.
10/17/16), 207 So.3d 1067. Such testimony alone is
sufficient even where the state does not introduce medical,
scientific, or physical evidence to prove the commission of
the offense by the defendant. State v. Ponsell, 33,
543 (La.App. 2 Cir. 08/23/00), 766 So.2d 678, writ
denied, 2000-2726 (La. 10/12/01), 799 So.2d 490.
there is conflicting testimony about factual matters, the
resolution of which depends upon a determination of the
credibility of the witnesses, the matter is one of the weight
of the evidence, not its sufficiency. State v.
Allen, 36, 180 (La.App. 2 Cir. 09/18/02), 828 So.2d 622,
writs denied, 2002-2595 (La. 03/28/03), 840
So.2d 566, 2002-2997 (La. 06/27/03), 847 So.2d 1255,
cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1185, 124 S.Ct. 1404, 158
L.Ed.2d 90 (2004). The appellate court neither assesses the
credibility of witnesses nor reweighs evidence. State v.
Smith, 94-3116 (La. 10/16/95), 661 So.2d 442. A
reviewing court accords great deference to a jury's
decision to accept or reject the testimony of a witness in
whole or in part. State v. Gilliam, 36, 118 (La.App.
2 Cir. 08/30/02), 827 So.2d 508, writ denied,
2002-3090 (La. 11/14/03), 858 So.2d 422.
evidence of other acts of misconduct is not admissible due to
the risk that the defendant will be convicted of the present
offense on the basis that the unrelated evidence establishes
him or her as a "bad person." La. C.E. art.
404(B)(1); State v. Jackson, 625 So.2d 146 (La.
1993). This exclusionary rule stems from the
"substantial risk of grave prejudice to the
defendant" from the introduction of evidence regarding
his unrelated criminal acts. State v. Prieur, 277
So.2d 126 (La. 1973). However, statutory and jurisprudential
exceptions exist when the "evidence of other acts tends
to prove a material issue and has independent relevance other
than showing that the defendant is a man of bad
character." State v. Silguero, 608 So.2d 627
(La. 1992). In that regard, when a defendant is charged with
acts that constitute a sex offense involving a victim who was
under the age of 17 at the time of the offense, evidence of
his other acts which involve sexually assaultive behavior or
acts which indicate his lustful disposition toward children
is admissible if the court determines that, pursuant to La.
C.E. art. 403, its probative value outweighs its prejudicial
effect. La. C.E. art. 412.2; See State v. Wright,
11-0141 (La. 12/06/11), 79 So.3d 309; State v.
Williams, 02-0898, 02-1030 (La. 10/15/02), 830 So.2d
984. In determining whether such evidence will be admitted at
trial, La. C.E. art. 403 states, "Although relevant,
evidence may be excluded if its probative value is
substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice,
confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by
considerations of undue delay, or waste of
court's ruling on the admissibility of other crimes
evidence will not be overturned absent an abuse of
discretion. This same standard is applied to rulings on the
admission of other crimes evidence and evidence under La.
C.E. art. 412.2. State v. Wright, supra;
State v. Bell, 50, 092 (La.App. 2 ...