APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15-5781, DIVISION
"B" HONORABLE CORNELIUS E. REGAN, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA, Paul D.
Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux, Juliet L. Clark.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, C. T., Martin E. Regan, Jr.
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Jeffrey M. Landry, Colin Clark, J.
composed of Judges Stephen J. Windhorst, Hans J. Liljeberg,
and Timothy S. Marcel, Pro Tempore.
J. LILJEBERG JUDGE
appeals his conviction and sentence for aggravated rape of a
juvenile under the age of thirteen. For the following
reasons, we affirm defendant's conviction and sentence.
We also remand to the trial court with instructions to
provide defendant with written notice of the sex offender
registration requirements, as required by La. R.S. 15:543.
OF THE CASE
January 28, 2016, a Jefferson Parish Grand Jury returned an
indictment charging defendant, C.T.,  with aggravated
of a known juvenile (D.O.B. 8/26/2004), where the victim was
under the age of thirteen, in violation of La. R.S. 14:42.
The matter proceeded to trial, and a twelve-person jury
returned a verdict of guilty as charged on November 8,
2017. On December 11, 2017, the trial court
sentenced defendant to life imprisonment at hard labor
without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of
sentence. Defendant appeals.
victim, D.A., was born on August 26, 2004, and he was
thirteen years old at the time of trial. At trial, D.A.
testified that he has one brother and two sisters. He stated
that when he was eight years old, he began living with his
father, who is the defendant herein, and his grandmother in
Metairie, Louisiana. In July of 2015, D.A. went to visit his
mother, A.A., who lived in Ponchatoula. While he was in bed
with his younger sister, they began touching each other, and
he put his "private into her front." D.A. testified
that when his mom came into the room and asked what was going
on, he confessed that he did that because "it was the
same thing my dad did to me." D.A.'s mother took him
to the doctor and he was also questioned by police, informing
them of what defendant had done to him. D.A. also recalled
that prior to moving in with defendant, he briefly lived with
a family friend named Kandi Fields and confided in her that
once while at defendant's house, he woke up lying next to
defendant with his pants down.
Bergeron, a forensic interviewer for the Jefferson
Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), interviewed D.A. on
August 13, 2015. During the interview, D.A. told Ms. Bergeron
that in the summer when he was eight years old, he lived with
defendant and got a "whooping" for breaking a plate
but stated that the "whooping" was not like a
regular "whooping" because it hurt inside his
"butthole" and that "it felt stretched
out." D.A. explained that he first got fifteen whips
with the belt on his bare buttocks. He told Ms. Bergeron that
when he gets hit with the belt defendant makes him take his
pants and underwear off and hits him on the "butt
cheek," thighs, and lower back. Then after he was hit,
defendant "bent over on me and did something I
didn't understand." D.A. explained he was lying on
his stomach when defendant bent over him on his hands and
knees "like a dog getting ready to use the
bathroom" and then "a warmish cylinder like thing
[was] going into my butthole." At first D.A. did not
know what the "cylinder like thing" was; he thought
maybe it was defendant's finger, but it kept going
"in and out, in and out of his butthole." He
assumed it was defendant's "private part" but
was asking himself "why would he do that." After
about thirty seconds to a minute defendant stopped, told D.A.
to put his clothes back on, and then told him he had gotten a
"whooping." D.A. thought to himself "that was
not a whooping."
stated that defendant would "sometimes put lotion on his
butt cheek." He indicated that it happened more than one
time, recalling that when he was nine, while at his
grandmother's house with defendant, defendant told D.A.
that he liked to "make up stories," so he made up a
story that D.A. had misplaced something and it was time for
him to get a "whooping," telling him to take off
his pants and underwear. Defendant told D.A. he had to take
his clothes off to "see how much it hurts." So D.A.
"got in the same position," and defendant hit him
on the "butt cheek" with the belt twice and then
defendant rubbed his own private part with his hand while
leaning on the side of the bed. He then bent over D.A.
"like a baby crawling" and stuck his private part
in D.A.'s "butthole" "in and out, in and
out." After he was finished, he told D.A. to put his
clothes back on. D.A. stated that on that occasion defendant
put coconut lotion on D.A.'s "butt cheeks" and
his "butthole." D.A. also confessed that defendant
scares him, and he did not want to tell anyone about what
happened because defendant threatened to hurt his family
then recalled a third incident when he was nine or ten years
old, and defendant called him upstairs and accused D.A. of
breaking his television. When D.A. denied it, defendant told
D.A. "you're getting a whooping" and then had
D.A. take off his pants and underwear, placed lotion on
D.A.'s "butthole" and "butt cheek,"
took off his own clothes, and he stuck his "private
part" in and out of D.A.'s "butthole."
D.A. explained a fourth incident in which defendant accused
D.A. of not rolling his window down in the car, and defendant
told him he was getting a "whooping." He recalled
defendant took off his pants and underwear and D.A.'s
pants and underwear, and hit him twenty times with the belt
on his back, his buttocks, and his hand. He stated that
defendant got "more mad," rubbed lotion on himself
and on D.A.'s "butthole" with his finger, and
then stuck his "private" in D.A.'s
"butthole" several times. When he was done he told
D.A. to go back to his room and think about what he had done.
D.A. also stated that when he was ten he found a video in
defendant's drawer, and when he turned it on it was a
video of "naked girls," so he turned it off and put
testified that he never told anyone about what his father did
to him during the two years he lived with defendant because
he was scared to tell his family. He explained that defendant
had threatened to hurt someone in D.A.'s family if D.A.
told anyone. He further testified that he had lived with his
mother's other boyfriends, and none of them had ever
sexually abused him.
August 1, 2015, Dr. Sonseeahray Bridges, a pediatric
physician at Children's Hospital in New Orleans, examined
D.A. who was brought to the hospital by his mother, along
with his sister, K.A. His mother, A.A., reported that she
found D.A. in bed with his sister with no pants or underwear
on and that her daughter disclosed to her that D.A. had put
his penis in her butt on more than one occasion. A.A. also
advised Dr. Bridges that D.A. reported to her that defendant
had done the same thing to him, "meaning that he had put
his penis in D.A.'s butt." D.A. told Dr. Bridges
that it occurred with his father more than once. Dr. Bridges
testified that D.A.'s physical examination was normal,
explaining that D.A.'s last contact with his father was
three weeks prior to her examination giving any evidence of
potential trauma time to have healed.
Fields, a family friend, testified that when D.A. was seven
or eight years old, A.A. moved to Texas. Ms. Fields stated
that D.A. lived with her for approximately two weeks, and
this was before he moved in with defendant. During that
two-week period, defendant would pick D.A. up from Ms.
Fields' home and keep him over the weekend. After one of
his weekend visits with defendant, D.A. reported to Ms.
Fields that defendant was "crazy" and
"nasty." When asked what he meant, D.A. began to
cry and stated, "my daddy licks my butt when he thinks
I'm asleep." Mrs. Fields called A.A. who drove back
from Texas and picked up D.A.
testified that defendant is her ex-boyfriend and that D.A. is
their son who was born on August 26, 2004, after they had
ended their relationship. In 2012, A.A. moved to Texas with
her two daughters, leaving D.A. with Mrs. Fields because she
believed the move would be difficult for him being the eldest
of the children. A.A. recalled that prior to moving to Texas,
defendant had come back into D.A.'s life, which pleased
her, knowing the importance of having a father figure.
couple of weeks after she moved to Texas, A.A. received a
phone call from Mrs. Fields prompting her to return to
Louisiana to retrieve her son. She recalled that D.A. would
not tell her what he had told Mrs. Fields and that she told
him she was going to have to call the police, yet never did,
wanting to believe it was not possible.
took D.A. back to Texas with her in 2012 but eventually
returned to Louisiana. In the summer of 2013, when D.A. was
about eight years old, A.A. moved to Pontchatoula and sent
D.A. to live with defendant. A.A. testified that she allowed
D.A. to live with defendant because she wanted D.A. to have a
relationship with his father and D.A. told her that what he
had told Mrs. Fields did not happen.
testified that in July of 2015, after D.A. had been living
with defendant for approximately two years, D.A. came to
visit her for three weeks in Ponchatoula, where she was
living at the time with her fiancé. One night during
his visit, D.A. went to bed with his sister, K.A., and when
A.A. went to check on them, she could "tell something
was going on," so she pulled back the covers and saw
K.A.'s underwear was off. A.A. asked D.A. what was going
on and based on his response, immediately called defendant
yelling, "here we go again with this." Defendant
told A.A. that D.A. was lying, at which time A.A. hung up on
him and called the police. After speaking to the police, D.A.
was sent to Children's Hospital where A.A. relayed to Dr.
Bridges what had happened.
Jamie Jackson, an expert in the field of child abuse
pediatrics, testified that she met with D.A. on August 24,
2015, and conducted a physical examination, which revealed no
acute injuries. Dr. Jackson explained that she did not find
this surprising because there are not always physical
injuries present when an examination has been performed on a
victim of sexual abuse. Dr. Jackson explained that most
sexual abuse examinations result in normal findings,
particularly when the sexual abuse involves penetration of
the anus due to the body's ability to heal quickly in
that area. She also noted that the last reported trauma had
been six weeks prior to her examination.
mother, E.T., testified that defendant and D.A. lived with
her for two and a half years when D.A. was between the ages
of eight and ten and that during that time D.A. did not want
to be there. E.T. testified that while he lived with them,
D.A. behaved "terrible," some nights getting up to
watch "dirty movies" on the HBO channel and at
times intentionally failing to flush the toilet after he had
been reprimanded, even smearing "his bowels" on her
rug on one occasion. E.T. testified that she overheard D.A.
state that he wanted to be with his mother, and not his
"black family." She further stated that she never
saw any inappropriate behavior between D.A. and defendant.
Lee, E.T.'s next-door neighbor, testified that he bought
D.A. a bike after he moved in with his grandmother and that
D.A. told him he could not ride the bike "because his
mother is white and his father is black and he didn't
want to get dark." D.A. told him he did not want to be
black, he wanted to be more like his mother and grandmother,
or light-skinned like his sisters. He further stated that one
time when D.A. came over to his house he "wasn't
acting normal" and that he could not get D.A. to talk,
so he told ...