Heard in the Court of Appeals March 5, 2015.
Jones County, No. 09CRS050133-34.
Attorney General Roy A. Cooper, III, by Assistant Attorney General Sherri Horner Lawrence, for the State.
Jarvis John Edgerton, IV, for Defendant-appellant.
DILLON, Judge. Judges STROUD and DAVIS concur.
Appeal by Defendant from judgments entered 2 May
2014 by Judge W. Douglas Parsons in Jones County Superior Court.
Dammion Lamont Martin (" Defendant" ) was convicted by a jury of two counts of sexual offense with a student. For the following reasons, we find no error with one of the convictions; however, with respect to the other conviction, we reverse and remand the matter for a new trial.
Defendant worked as a substitute high school teacher. He was accused by a student of sexually assaulting her in 2006 at a school where he was working. He was accused by another student of sexually assaulting her in 2008 at the same school. Defendant was tried for both incidents in a single jury trial.
The State's evidence at trial tended to show as follows: The student involved in the 2008 incident, Katie, testified that one afternoon after school as she was walking past the school's football field house, Sherman, a student on the football team, playfully carried her into the boys' locker room. Two other football players were standing inside preparing for practice. Katie stated that she knew that she was not allowed in the boys'
locker room, but that they were just standing and talking.
As they were standing and talking in the locker room, Defendant entered, questioned the boys about a girl being in the locker room, and told the boys to head to practice. After the boys had exited, Defendant told Katie to go with him to an adjacent classroom where he informed her that she could face suspension for being in the locker room. Defendant also indicated that the boys probably wanted Katie to perform oral sex on them, which Katie denied having occurred. Defendant then, however, asked Katie to perform oral sex on him. He locked the classroom door, approached Katie, and dropped his pants down, whereupon Katie performed oral sex on Defendant for about a minute, fearing that she would be suspended if she refused. Afterwards, Katie left the room, upset and crying.
The State's evidence further showed that Katie gave consistent accounts of the incident to the sheriff's department, the school principal, and an SBI agent.
Sherman also testified for the State, stating that Katie was just standing and talking to him and the other players when Defendant found them in the locker room, that Defendant questioned the players about a girl being in the locker room and that he told them to go to practice.
Regarding the 2006 incident, a student testified for the State that Defendant forced her to perform oral sex on him when they were alone in a classroom. She soon told a friend and the principal about the incident but decided not to press charges at that time. However, years later upon hearing Katie's story on ...