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State v. Rutan

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

November 20, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
LOUIS WAYNE RUTAN Appellant

          Appealed from the Forty-Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of DeSoto, Louisiana Trial Court No. 17CR28942 Honorable Charles Blaylock Adams, Judge.

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Chad M. Ikerd Counsel for Appellant

          LOUIS WAYNE RUTAN Pro Se

          GARY V. EVANS District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          KENNETH P. HAINES HUGO A. HOLLAND, JR. Assistant District Attorneys

          Before GARRETT, STONE, and McCALLUM, JJ.

          STONE, J.

         The defendant, Louis Rutan ("Rutan"), pled guilty to molestation of a juvenile, in violation of La. R.S. 14:81.2(A)(1) and (D)(1). Rutan was sentenced to 75 years at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, to run consecutively with any other sentence. No motion to reconsider sentence was filed. Rutan now appeals. For the reasons stated herein, Rutan's conviction and sentence of 75 years are affirmed. However, the parole restriction thereon is vacated, even though it does not render the sentence excessive. We remand with instructions for the trial court to reconsider the parole restriction and to comply with the sex offender notification law.

         FACTS

         On November 8, 2017, Rutan was charged by bill of information with one count of molestation of a juvenile under the age of thirteen. On January 14, 2019, Rutan entered a plea of guilty as charged of molestation of a juvenile under the age of thirteen.

         The factual basis for the guilty plea was that between May and August of 2017, Rutan committed lewd and lascivious acts upon the person of his biological daughter, A.B. Rutan had genital contact with A.B., oral to genital contact with A.B., and oral to anal contact with A.B. Specifically, Rutan would rub his genitals upon the genitals of A.B, in addition to making A.B. touch his genitals with her hands. At the time of the offense, A.B. was approximately 6 years of age, and Rutan was approximately 38 years old. During the investigation, the Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office cut off the mattress top of A.B.'s bed. It was found to contain Rutan's skin cells and sperm.

         There was no agreement regarding sentence. The trial court ordered a presentence investigation, and scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 13, 2019. During the sentencing hearing, Dianna Green made a statement on behalf of the victim and her family. Ms. Green is the victim's maternal aunt, and she acted as the spokesperson for the family. Ms. Green read into the record a letter that she wrote, and a letter written by the victim's mother. The trial court also reviewed the presentence investigation report and took particular notice of the fact that Rutan was a fourth felony offender with a history of violence. The trial court sentenced Rutan to 75 years of incarceration at hard labor, without parole, to run consecutively with any other sentence he may be serving.

         DISCUSSION

         On appeal, Rutan urges two assignments of error: (1) his sentence is constitutionally excessive; and (2) the trial court improperly interpreted the law as it relates to his parole eligibility. He also raises an ineffective assistance of counsel claim based on ...


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