FROM THE TWENTY-SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST.
LANDRY, NO. 15-2347 HONORABLE A. GERARD CASWELL, DISTRICT
B. Taylor District Attorney Jennifer M. Ardoin Assistant
District Attorney Counsel for Appellee: State of Louisiana
Katherine G. Guillot Hawkins Oetjens, LLC Counsel for
Defendant/Appellant: Teddy Aguillard
composed of Phyllis M. Keaty, John E. Conery, and Van H.
PHYLLIS M. KEATY, JUDGE
Teddy Aguillard, appeals the trial court's convictions
and sentences. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial
& PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
26, 2015, Defendant, Teddy Aguillard, owned a driving school
in Eunice and was teaching driving lessons when he made lewd
comments to two of his juvenile students, S.B. and
On October 26, 2015, Defendant was charged with two counts of
indecent behavior with juveniles, violations of La.R.S.
14:81(A)(2). On February 17, 2017, a unanimous jury
found him guilty as charged on both counts. On March 9, 2017,
Defendant was sentenced to five years at hard labor on each
count, and the sentences were ordered to run concurrently
with one another. The trial court informed Defendant that he
would be required to register as a sex offender for fifteen
years upon his release from incarceration. Following a
hearing on April 13, 2017, the trial court denied
Defendant's motion to reconsider sentence. Defendant
appeal, Defendant asserts the following assignments of error:
1. The evidence introduced at the trial of this case, when
viewed under the standard enunciated in Jackson v.
Virginia, was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that Defendant committed the crimes of Indecent
Behavior with a Juvenile.
2. Defendant, Teddy Aguillard, was deprived his
constitutional right to a fair trial before an unbiased jury
by the introduction of improper other acts evidence by the
State in violation of U.S. Constitution Amendments V, VI, and
XIV; Louisiana Constitution Article I Sections 2 and 16; and
LSA-C.E. Art. 404(B).
3. The Trial Court erred in imposing a sentence of five (5)
years at hard labor with the Department of Corrections, as
such sentence is excessive and in violation of Article I,
Section 20 of the Louisiana Constitution and the Eighth
Amendment to the United States Constitution.
accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, all appeals are
reviewed for errors patent on the face of the record. After
reviewing the record, we find one error patent. In that
regard, the crime of indecent behavior with juveniles
requires the trial court to order the seizure and impoundment
of the personal property used in the commission of the
offense and, after conviction, to order the property sold at
public sale or public auction by the district attorney.
La.R.S. 14:81(H)(3). In this case, the trial court's
failure to order impoundment and seizure of Defendant's
personal property used in the commission of this offense
renders the sentence illegally lenient. "However, this
court will not consider an illegally lenient sentence unless
it is a raised error." State v. Celestine,
11-1403, p. 2 (La.App. 3 Cir. 5/30/12), 91 So.3d 573, 575.
First Assignment of Error
first assignment of error, Defendant contends that the
evidence introduced at trial, when viewed under the standard
enunciated in Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99
S.Ct. 2781 (1979), was insufficient to prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that he committed the crime of indecent
behavior with juveniles. Defendant alleges the State failed
to prove that he possessed the specific intent to sexually
arouse himself or the victims when he made the comments in
question. Defendant asserts that his inappropriate comments
were not lewd or lascivious.
Louisiana, the standard of review utilized when reviewing a
sufficiency of the evidence claim is discussed in State
v. Williams, 16-140, pp. 9-10 (La.App. 3 Cir. 9/28/16),
201 So.3d 379, 388 (quoting State v. Miller,
98-1873, p. 5 (La.App. 3 Cir. 10/13/99), 746 So.2d 118, 120,
writ denied, 99-3259 (La. 5/5/00), 761 So.2d 541),
When the issue of sufficiency of evidence is raised on
appeal, the critical inquiry of the reviewing court 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 ex
rel. Graffagnino v. King, 436 So.2d 559 (La.1983);
State v. Duncan, 420 So.2d 1105 (La.1982); State
v. Moody, 393 So.2d 1212 (La.1981). The role of the
factfinder is to weigh the respective credibility of each
witness. Therefore, the appellate court should not second
guess the credibility determinations of the factfinder beyond
the sufficiency evaluations under the Jackson
standard of review. See State ex rel. Graffagnino,
436 So.2d 559, citing State v. Richardson, 425 So.2d
case, Defendant was charged with and found guilty of two
counts of indecent behavior with juveniles, violations of
La.R.S. 14:81(A)(2), which provides:
A. Indecent behavior with juveniles is the commission of any
of the following acts with the intention of arousing or
gratifying the sexual desires of either person:
. . . .
(2) The transmission, delivery or utterance of any textual,
visual, written, or oral communication depicting lewd or
lascivious conduct, text, words, or images to any person
reasonably believed to be under the age of seventeen and
reasonably believed to be at least two years younger than the
offender. It shall not be a defense that the person who
actually receives the transmission is not under the age of
first witness to testify at trial was S.B., who was born on
December 5, 1999 and was fifteen years old during the
incident. S.B.'s testimony revealed that in May 2015, she
attended Gator Driving School, which was owned and operated
by Defendant. S.B. advised that during her instructional
training, which took place in a classroom, Defendant told the
students "not to tell our parents [and] what happens in
his class stays in his class." She testified that
Defendant would also "make jokes about a letter
'D,' like you don't get it, like you don't
the [sic] letter 'D,' what it stands for, if I may
say 'dick.'" S.B. testified that her friend,
A.A., attended class with her.
the driving portion, S.B. advised that she and A.A. drove
together with Defendant. S.B.'s description of the first
day of driving revealed the following:
Mr. Teddy had made a little joke that asked if we wanted to
see a big white cock and he started to pull down his pants
which I was driving and we both had screamed, "No,"
and then he was like, "Look outside your window,"
and we had laughed but it wasn't a funny laugh. It was
that we were relieved that it [sic] wasn't actually
showing what he was going to show us.
time, S.B. believed Defendant was going to expose himself
because he "went to touch his pants to pull down his
pants leg" "[b]y his crotch area." She
advised, however, that Defendant actually pointed to a
rooster that "was in somebody's front yard."
S.B. said she felt uncomfortable during the first day of
testified that on the second day of driving, Defendant looked
at pictures on both her and A.A.'s cellular phones.
According to her testimony, Defendant found a picture of S.B.
in a bathing suit and asked who was the girl in the picture.
S.B. explained that when she advised that she was the girl in
the picture, Defendant replied: "You're lying
because this girl has tits and you don't[.]" S.B.
indicated that Defendant also talked about her breasts on
another occasion, which she described as follows: "When
I was driving he told me that we should stop . . . at the
Walmart Distribution Center to get me a training bra because
I have no tits." S.B. claimed that Defendant said A.A.
had big "ones and I didn't." S.B. revealed that
Defendant's comments about her breasts made her feel
"[a]shamed, embarrassed," and "really
further testified that on one occasion when she was in the
backseat and A.A. was driving, Defendant was sitting in the
front passenger seat and pulled out his cellular phone. She
indicated that from her location in the backseat she was able
to see Defendant's phone, which contained "pictures
of girls' body parts and area parts that were fully - -
no clothes, naked[.]" Defendant did not try to hide his
phone from her, according to S.B.'s testimony. When S.B.
asked Defendant why he was showing them the contents of his
phone, Defendant responded, "because [my] wife
doesn't give out, only on Jesus' day which is
Sunday." S.B. advised that Defendant never touched her
inappropriately, although he pulled her hair when she
"was to get out the car and . . . pulled down [her] hair
when [she] had got out the car."
cross-examination, S.B. denied that she requested to drive
with Defendant. Defense counsel also elicited testimony from
S.B. indicating that she did not specifically mention crotch
area in her initial police report to Detective Nicholas
Cooley. S.B. clarified, however, that although she did not
write it in her report, she did tell Detective Cooley that
Defendant put his hand by his crotch. S.B. testified that her
report states that Defendant "went to pull . . . his
pants leg down." She revealed that she laughed when
Defendant made the "white cock" joke, but it was a
laugh of relief "that it wasn't what he was showing
us, trying to show us."
further cross-examination, S.B. discussed the second day of
driving and revealed that Defendant used the word
"tits," not "boobs." According to S.B,
Defendant was making fun of her which made her uncomfortable.
S.B. agreed that she punched Defendant in the arm three
times, and she knew he was not joking because "it
wasn't funny." Defense counsel showed S.B. her
police report wherein she noted that Defendant was
"clowning my boobs." S.B. advised that
"clowning" meant talking about them. She agreed
that she referred to "boobs" in the police report.
S.B. advised that her parents asked her about what happened
when she returned home after the second day. S.B.'s
testimony on cross-examination with respect to viewing
pornography on Defendant's phone and Defendant's
explanation for the pornography was identical to her
testimony on direct examination. When asked if she was
"turned on" by anything Defendant said, S.B.
replied, "Not at all."
redirect examination, S.B. denied talking about sexual things
with her friend, Logan Daigle. S.B. explained that she did
not use the word "tits" in her police report
because she feels more comfortable using the word
"boobs." The following colloquy also took place
between the prosecutor and S.B. with respect to
Defendant's crotch area:
Q. And [Detective] Cooley he didn't talk a lot about - -
about clarify the crotch. I use the word "crotch."
Was it near his foot area where he touched himself after
saying, "Do you want to see a big white cock?" Did
he touch himself some kind of way?
A. In the upper area, yes, ma'am.
Q. Was it in the lower pant leg like down here?
A. No, ma'am.
Q. And that's what I'm trying to be clear. Can you
stand up and show the jury the area he touched himself in?
A. Right here.
THE COURT: Let the record reflect that the witness used her
right hand and touched the upper right thigh where the thigh
would meet the groin area.
next witness to testify was Erica Landry, S.B.'s
stepmother. Ms. Landry described learning of the incident
while talking to A.A.'s mother, Kelly
Ardoin, and the two victims. Ms. Landry explained:
[S.B.] and [A.A.] drove that morning and they went to school
because they had volleyball tryouts that day. . . . [W]hen I
came home from work, Kelly came with both of the girls and .
. . she said, "Erica, let me tell you about what Mr.
Teddy said today," and she proceeded to tell me about
the big white cock joke, and she said he grabbed himself. I
said, "What do you mean," and she said he grabbed
his pants and she showed me where he grabbed. I said,
"Did he pull his pants down?" She said, "No,
he did not pull them down but as soon as he grabbed them, he
pointed to a rooster," and we were like, "Oh, okay,
you know." Fifteen year old girl, get his stuff,
doesn't know how to handle it, really. She didn't
know how to handle that situation.
Landry testified that she was "stunned because
that's not a way to joke." She further explained:
I kind of had to absorb, had to think about it, because . . .
your first reaction is do I allow my child to go back or ask
her if anything else has happened. . . . So I said, "Are
you okay with going back? Did he touch you?" "No he
didn't pull his pants down. It was just - - it was a
dirty joke." I said, "Okay." She went the next
day and, uh, Kelly and I spoke throughout the day. We agreed
that we needed to talk to the girls that evening and make
sure that nothing else was happening. Uh, that second evening
is when she spilled the beans after I told her she wasn't
going back because we were uncomfortable.
Landry indicated that she felt S.B. was not safe and did not
deserve to be spoken to in such a dirty way.
cross-examination, Ms. Landry revealed that she and her
husband allowed S.B. to return to driving lessons the second
day because they "were indecisive" as to whether
Defendant made a dirty joke or whether he was "this type
of person." She noted that S.B. did not mention any
other comments made by Defendant, so she and her husband
allowed S.B. to return since she would have a driving partner
and would not be alone with Defendant. When Ms. Landry talked
to S.B. after the second day of driving, she and her husband
decided that S.B. would not return. Ms. Landry testified ...