Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 342918 Honorable
Katherine Clark Dorroh, Judge.
& ELLIS LAW FIRM BY: CAREY J. ELLIS, III COUNSEL FOR
E. STEWART, SR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE
RICHARD SOL FEINBERG TRENEISHA JACKSON HILL JASON WAYNE
WALTMAN ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
STONE, STEPHENS, and McCALLUM, JJ.
criminal case, the defendant, Rodriqus Harris
("Harris"), was found guilty by a jury of second
degree rape and molestation of a juvenile. He was sentenced
to 45 years at hard labor for second degree rape as a
second-felony habitual offender, and to 15 years at hard
labor for molestation of a juvenile, to be served
consecutively. The sentencing judge ordered that all 45 years
of the rape sentence be served without eligibility of parole.
Harris now appeals. For the following reasons, we affirm the
defendant's convictions, and we hold that his sentences
are not excessive. However, we vacate Harris' habitual
offender sentence and remand with instructions provided
was charged by amended bill of information with second degree
rape, La. R.S. 14:42.1, and molestation of a juvenile, La.
R.S. 14:81.2. The crimes occurred between July 4, 2016, and
July 16, 2016. At that time, the victim, T.B., was 13 years
old and was Harris' stepdaughter.
jury trial commenced on November 7, 2017. At trial, T.B.
testified that Harris made her perform oral sex on him three
times when they were in a car together. He grabbed her neck
and pushed her head down. T.B. stated that Harris would tell
her to "just f'ing drink it" and say "suck
it, lick it, and stuff like that." Harris also told T.B.
that if she told anyone, they would both get in trouble.
final incident occurred on July 16, 2016. On that date, T.B.
was in the doorway of her bedroom when Harris told her to
pull down her pants and face away from him. Harris stood in
the bathroom across the hallway from T.B.'s bedroom
wearing only boxers. T.B. complied, and Harris had begun
masturbating with a bar of soap in his hand when T.B.'s
mother, L.B., entered the area and saw what Harris was doing.
testified that when she saw Harris in the bathroom
masturbating while looking into T.B.'s room, she said
"what the fuck you doing?" Harris told her
"you're tripping." Harris then told T.B. to
"tell her [L.B.] nothing." L.B. asked T.B. what
Harris made her do, and T.B. said "showing my
body." L.B. grabbed both of her daughters, ran out of
the house, and called the police.
was subsequently taken to the Gingerbread House for a
recorded interview. The recording of the interview was played
for the jury and, in addition to the above incidents, T.B.
stated that Harris had come into her room every night since
July 4, 2016, pulled her pants down, and rubbed her private
parts. At trial, Harris testified and adamantly denied any
trial, the jury unanimously found Harris guilty of second
degree rape and molestation of a juvenile. The trial court
denied Harris' post-trial motions.
November 27, 2017, the trial court sentenced Harris to 30
years at hard labor, with the first 2 years to be served
without benefits for the second degree rape conviction, and
to 15 years at hard labor for the molestation of a juvenile
conviction. The sentences were ordered to be served
consecutively. That same date, the state filed a
second-felony habitual offender bill of information seeking
to enhance Harris' sentence for second degree rape, based
on Harris' prior conviction for armed robbery with a
firearm from May 10, 2005, for which he received a 15-year
January 5, 2018, Harris filed a pro se motion for production
of documents (a "Simmons motion"). Therein, he
requested free copies of
all documentation pertaining to the state and prosecuting him
including, but not limited to: arrest warrants; complete
court minutes; indictment/bill of information; preliminary
hearings; PSI and commitment reports; audio tapes; complete
open file discovery; sentencing minutes extract; any physical
evidence; any DNA testing; and all statements made against
did not specifically request any guilty plea transcript, nor
did he identify the 2005 predicate offense (armed robbery) by
docket number or otherwise. He claimed the documents
requested would be "crucial in the filing of
trial court ruled on the Simmons motion on January
11, 2018, granting it in part, and denying it in part. The
trial court granted the motion as to the documents to which
indigent inmates are generally entitled to as a matter of
right under State ex rel. Simmons v. State, 93-0175
(La. 12/16/94), 647 So.2d 1094. Namely, those are: (1) the
bill of information or grand jury indictment; (2) the court
minutes; (3) the guilty plea transcript; (4) the commitment
order or documents committing the defendant to custody; and
(5) the transcript of any evidentiary hearing held on a
post-conviction relief application. As to all other requested
documents, the trial court denied the motion, noting that
Harris failed to show a particularized need. Harris did not
receive a guilty plea transcript for the current offenses
because none exists - he did not plead guilty to the current
offenses. Harris likewise did not receive a copy of his 2005
guilty plea to armed robbery.
March 6, 2018, Harris filed a pro se motion to quash the
habitual offender bill of information, on the basis that his
guilty plea for the 2005 predicate offense was obtained in
violation of the constitution. Specifically, he argued that
he was not properly Boykinized at the time he pled
guilty to the predicate offense.
habitual offender hearing was held on April 5, 2018. Therein,
the trial court heard evidence concerning Harris'
convictions. However, at Harris' request, the trial court
deferred ruling on his motion to quash until the trial court
could obtain and review a copy of the Boykin
transcript for the predicate offense.
following evidence was presented at the habitual offender
hearing. Shreveport Police Officer Danny Duddy was accepted
as an expert in the field of latent fingerprint examination.
He testified that he took Harris' fingerprints, S-1, and
compared them with the fingerprints contained on S-2 (bill of
information, fingerprints, and court minutes for the 2005
armed robbery conviction, Caddo Parish Docket No. 233, 911),
and the fingerprints on S-3 (fingerprint attachment sheet for