Appealed from the Third Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Union, Louisiana Trial Court No. 51563 Honorable
James H. Boddie, Jr., Pro Tempore, Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Sherry Watters, Counsel for
F. K. BELTON District Attorney, TRACY WAYNE HOUCK WILLIAM
KYLE GREEN Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for
WILLIAMS, GARRETT, and STONE, JJ.
defendant, Larry Lewis, Jr., was convicted of four counts of
molestation of a juvenile and was sentenced to serve 20 years
at hard labor on each count, to be served concurrently. He
appealed his convictions and sentences. For the following
reasons, we affirm.
victim in this matter is AA. AA's mother is legally blind
and managed a trailer park. She employed Lewis to work at her
business, to help with matters around the house, and to drive
for her and AA. Lewis and AA's mother had a sporadic
intimate relationship. The victim's mother invited Lewis
to live in her home in order to make it easier for him to
drive her and AA to work and school.
began molesting AA on November 22, 2012, and continued until
December 10, 2012. Lewis and AA would watch television in the
living room, in the dark, under a blanket. On November 22,
2012, while watching a scary movie, Lewis began touching AA,
and then engaged in sexual intercourse with her. Over the
next couple of weeks, three more instances of molestation
occurred, all on the couch in the dark living room. AA's
date of birth is December 3, 1998. She was 13 years old
during the first two offenses and 14 during the second two
offenses. Lewis's date of birth is February 11, 1977. He
was 35 years old when the offenses were committed.
December 2012, a school friend, Morgan Thompson, noticed a
hickey on AA's neck. AA told Thompson that Lewis had
given her the hickey. Thompson reported this information to
school authorities. Law enforcement officials were contacted
and an investigation was commenced. AA told investigators
with the Union Parish Sheriff's office that she had
sexual contact with Lewis on four occasions. Lewis was
arrested, and on August 15, 2014, he was charged by bill of
information with four counts of molestation of a juvenile,
violations of La. R.S. 14:81.2. He was tried by a jury in
February 2018, and was found guilty as charged on all four
counts. On May 15, 2018, the trial court sentenced Lewis to
serve 20 years at hard labor on each count, with the
sentences to be served concurrently. In open court, Lewis
signed an acknowledgment of receipt of the sex offender
registration and notification requirements. No motion to
reconsider the sentence was filed. Lewis appealed his
convictions and sentences.
argues that the trial court erred in failing to define for
the jury the element in the molestation statute of "a
position of control or supervision over the juvenile."
This argument is without merit.
may not assign as error the giving or failure to give a jury
charge or any portion thereof unless an objection thereto is
made before the jury retires or within such time as the court
may reasonably cure the alleged error. The nature of the
objection and grounds therefor shall be stated at the time of
objection. The court shall give the party an opportunity to
make the objection out of the presence of the jury.
La.C.Cr.P. art. 801(C). See State v. Washington, 51,
818 (La.App. 2 Cir. 4/11/18), 245 So.3d 1234; State v.
Barron, 51, 491 (La.App. 2 Cir. 8/9/17), 243 So.3d 1178,
writ denied, 17-1529 (La. 6/1/18), 243 So.3d 1063.
rule requiring contemporaneous objection serves two purposes:
it prevents a defendant from withholding objections to errors
which might have been corrected at trial, with the intention
of resorting to such errors on appeal; and it promotes
judicial efficiency. State v. Matthews, 50, 838
(La.App. 2 Cir. 8/10/16), 200 So.3d 895, writ
denied, 16-1678 (La. 6/5/17), 220 So.3d 752.
argues that the jury was not properly instructed as to the
meaning of the element in the offense of molestation of a
juvenile requiring proof that the offense was committed by
the use of influence by virtue of a position of control or
supervision over the juvenile. The charge read to the jury
included the definition and elements of molestation of a
juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile. The jury
verdict form listed the possible verdicts as: (1) guilty of
molestation of a juvenile with control or supervision; (2)
guilty of molestation of a juvenile without control or
supervision; (3) guilty of attempted molestation of a
juvenile; (4) guilty of indecent behavior with a juvenile;
(5) guilty of attempted indecent behavior with a juvenile;
(6) not guilty. During the course of the deliberations, the
jury requested that the court explain the difference between
molestation of a juvenile with control and supervision and
indecent behavior with a juvenile. The trial court again read
the definition of "molestation of a juvenile with
control or supervision." The jury was asked if that
answered the question. The jury foreman said,
"Yes." The trial court then read the definition of
indecent behavior with a juvenile. The jury was again asked
if that answered the question. The foreman replied that it
did. The jury then returned to its deliberations.
objection was made to the instructions read to the jury
before deliberations or in response to the jury's
question. There was no indication that the jury was confused
by the instructions. Due to the failure to make a
contemporaneous objection to the instructions given, Lewis is
not entitled to raise this issue on appeal. However, the
record shows that the jury instructions given were sufficient
OF THE EVIDENCE
asserts that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that he exercised supervision or control over AA, and
therefore, he should only have been convicted of a lesser
grade of molestation or of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
This argument is without merit.
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, 01-1658 (La. 5/20/03), 851
So.2d 921, cert. denied, 541 U.S. 905, 124 S.Ct.
1604, 158 L.Ed.2d 248 (2004); State v. Robinson, 50,
643 (La.App. 2 Cir. 6/22/16), 197 ...