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Holland v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

February 1, 2017

WESLEY GENE HOLLAND APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE CLEVELAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. CR-2014-48-5] HONORABLE DAVID W. TALLEY, JR., JUDGE

         AFFIRMED; MOTION TO WITHDRAW GRANTED

          N. Mark Klappenbach, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Kathryn Henry, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge

         Wesley Gene Holland appeals his convictions of second-degree sexual assault and residential burglary. On appeal, Holland argues that the circuit court erred in denying his directed-verdict motions. We affirm.[1]

         On October 17, 2014, the State charged Holland with the rape of J.W. On August 21, 2015, the State added the charge of residential burglary. The case proceeded to a jury trial on October 20, 2015.

         At trial, J.W. testified that on September 10, 2014, she was bathing in her home when her mother knocked on the front door. She explained that she answered the door without dressing, spoke with her mother for a minute, and then returned to the bathtub.

         She noted that shortly thereafter, her nine-year-old son entered the bathroom and told her that Holland, their neighbor, was at the door. She testified that she planned to dress herself and meet Holland at the door; however, while she was still in the bathtub, Holland appeared in the bathroom. She testified that he sat on the toilet and stated, "Let me see your boobs." She noted that she had drawn the shower curtain, which concealed her in the bathtub. She testified that Holland then opened the shower curtain, penetrated her vagina with his finger, and touched her breast. She noted that the penetration lasted two or three minutes. She stated that she told him to stop and that she tried to slap his hand, but he persisted. She explained that he eventually stopped, told her not to tell anyone about the incident, and left the house.

         J.W.'s son, D.W., testified that he answered the door for Holland on September 10, 2014. He stated that Holland asked for his mother and he told Holland that she was in the bathtub. He explained that he went to tell his mother and, when he returned, Holland had entered the house. He noted that Holland then told him to go play outside.

         J.W.'s mother testified that she went to her daughter's house on September 10, 2014, and that her daughter answered the door without clothes. She stated that she talked to her daughter for a minute and then left. She explained that, as she drove away, Holland stopped and asked her, "Well, I don't want to sound nasty, but was [J.W.] naked?" She responded, "Well, she's trying to get a bath."

         John Bolland, with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department, testified that he interviewed Holland on September 10 and 11, 2014, and the State played audio recordings of the interviews. In the September 10 interview, Holland admitted that he touched J.W.'s breast but denied that he had touched her vagina. He stated that he only touched the top of her leg. In the September 11 interview, Holland admitted touching J.W.'s breast and vaginal area. He denied penetrating her vagina but stated, "[I]f I did, I was unaware of it."

         After the State presented its case, Holland moved for directed verdicts on both charges. As to the residential-burglary charge, Holland argued that the State failed to prove that (1) he unlawfully entered J.W.'s residence or unlawfully remained there and (2) he entered the residence with the purpose of committing an offense punishable by imprisonment. As to the rape charge, Holland asserted that the State failed to prove that he touched J.W. to receive sexual gratification. The court denied both motions.

         Holland then testified on his own behalf and denied touching J.W.'s breast or vagina. He explained that he confessed to touching J.W. to Bolland in the September 10 and 11 ...


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