FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH DIVISION [NO.
60CR-15-390] HONORABLE HERBERT T. WRIGHT, JUDGE
Hancock Law Firm, by: Sharon Kiel, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Karen Virginia Wallace,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
F. VIRDEN, JUDGE.
Pulaski County jury found appellant Edward Darnell Rogers
guilty of three counts of rape and sentenced him as a
habitual offender to an aggregate term of forty years in
prison. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in
denying his directed-verdict motions and abused its
discretion in not allowing him to impeach one of the victims
with a misdemeanor conviction for theft of property. We agree
with Rogers's second point and therefore reverse and
or 2004, Tia Bryant moved to a neighborhood in North Little
Rock with her five children-four daughters and one adult son.
Rogers already lived in that neighborhood with his mother.
Bryant and Rogers began dating, and Rogers moved into
Bryant's home in 2006.
four daughters from oldest to youngest are L.W. (DOB:
6-23-1994), twins Mi.B. and T.B. (DOB: 6-27-1998), and Ma.B.
(DOB: 5-5-2000). All four girls testified that they thought
of Rogers as their father and that he had transported them to
school and after-school events, had cooked for them, had
bought them clothes and shoes, and had even disciplined them.
All four girls also testified that Rogers began touching them
inappropriately when they were teens. They each described
multiple sexual encounters with Rogers that involved
penetration. They further testified that Rogers had warned
them not to tell anyone about the encounters.
Bryant stated that her daughters eventually told her what
Rogers had done to them and that she had made Rogers move out
in October 2013. He moved four houses down; he was permitted
to keep a key to Bryant's home; and the children
continued to be around Rogers and his family. Bryant
testified that Rogers had apologized and that he had said
that he made a mistake, that it would never happen again, and
that he would continue to support her financially. Bryant
said that she gave Rogers the benefit of the doubt and did
not report the rapes until November 2014.
testified on his own behalf, along with various family
members, friends, and neighbors. Rogers said that it was his
idea to move out of Bryant's home in 2013 because someone
had been stealing from him and because of the lack of space.
Rogers stated that he continued to see Bryant's daughters
and continued to act as their father figure. He denied ever
having touched them inappropriately and could not understand
why they would tell such lies. According to Rogers, Bryant
reported the rape allegations because she was jealous when
she saw him with another woman and because she was probably
upset that he could no longer continue to support her
financially because he was providing for his wife and five
jury found Rogers guilty of raping L.W., Mi.B., and Ma.B.,
but the jury found him not guilty of raping T.B. The jury
sentenced Rogers to twenty years for raping L.W. and Mi.B.
and to forty years for raping Ma.B.
of double-jeopardy concerns, we address Rogers's
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence before our
review of any asserted trial errors. Foshee v.
State, 2014 Ark.App. 315. A directed-verdict motion is a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence and requires the
movant to apprise the trial court of the specific basis on
which the motion is made. Rounsaville v. State, 372
Ark. 252, 273 S.W.3d 486 (2008). Arguments not raised at
trial will not be addressed for the first time on appeal, and
parties cannot change the grounds for an objection on appeal,
but are bound by the scope and nature of the objections and
arguments presented at trial. Id.
contends that there was insufficient evidence to support his
convictions for rape because the victims' testimony was
inconsistent; there was no physical evidence of rape; and
there was a one-year delay in reporting the alleged crimes.
counsel made the following directed-verdict motions at trial:
Judge, on the count against Ma.B., State has failed to meet a
prima facie case in that they've failed to show that
Edward Rogers engaged in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual
activity with Ma.B. and that Ma.B. was less than 14 years of
age at the time of the alleged offense. . . . .
I'm gonna make the next two motions because they are the
same as the [sic] T.B. But the State has failed to make a
prima facie case that Edward Rogers engaged in sexual
intercourse or deviate sexual activity with either Mi.B. or
L.W., and that Mi.B. and L.W. were less than 18 years of age
at the time of the ...