Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gilton v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

October 17, 2018

PAUL GILTON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT [NO. 16JCR-16-716] HONORABLE TONYA M. ALEXANDER, JUDGE

          Quincy Jaeger, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Jacob H. Jones, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.

         Paul Gilton was convicted of two counts of sexual assault following a bench trial in the Craighead County Circuit Court. Gilton's sole argument on appeal is that the State's evidence did not sufficiently prove that he committed sexual assault; thus, the circuit court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict. We affirm.

         Janelle Hall is the mother of J.W. Hall testified that in February 2016, she had asked Gilton-J.W.'s paternal step-grandfather-to babysit J.W. while she ran some errands. At that time, J.W. was seven years old and Gilton was sixty-three years old. Upon returning home, Hall discovered J.W. in her underwear. According to Hall, J.W. had on a t-shirt and pajama pants when she left the home to run errands.

         When Hall asked J.W. what had occurred, J.W. dropped her head and ran out of the room. Hall said she heard J.W. tell Gilton that she was going to tell on him for what he had done to her and Gilton stated that J.W. should "not do that or [we] would both get into trouble." After J.W. and Gilton's conversation, J.W. returned to the room and informed Hall that Gilton had tried to "hump" her. Hall asked Gilton about his actions, and Gilton informed Hall that he and J.W. were only wrestling. At that point, Hall no longer wanted Gilton at her home and asked Gilton's sister to pick him up.

         Afterward, Hall and J.W. informed the Jonesboro Police Department that Gilton had sexually assaulted J.W. Officer Tyler Wilson completed an incident report and referred Hall to the Crimes Against Children Division (CACD) of the Arkansas State Police. Hall subsequently reported the information to the CACD. On February 17, 2016, Lesley Faulkner of the CACD interviewed J.W., videotaped the interview, and provided a transcribed copy of the interview to law enforcement.

         On August 10, 2016, the State filed two counts of sexual assault against Gilton. The first count stemmed from the February 2016 allegations, and the second count stemmed from actions that were alleged to have occurred between October and November 2014. On September 15, 2017, the State filed an amended information charging Gilton as a habitual offender. Gilton waived his right to a jury trial, and a bench trial ensued.

         As its primary witnesses, the State called J.W., Officer Wilson, Hall, Faulkner of the CACD, Annie Calwell, and Raymond Willison.[1] J.W. testified that (1) she was home alone with Gilton in February 2016; (2) Gilton was in her bedroom; (3) Gilton called her to the bedroom; (4) she got under the covers with him because she was cold; (5) Gilton got on top of her and started to "hump" her; (6) she told him to get off, but Gilton ignored her and continued to "hump" her; and (7) Gilton also "put his tongue in [her] mouth and kissed [her]." Additionally, J.W. testified that Gilton had bathed her a few times before February 2016. She said Gilton had washed her vagina, buttocks, and nipples.

         Calwell is J.W.'s godmother and Hall's best friend, and she testified that sometime before 2016, she once heard Gilton talking about bathing J.W. Although she had never witnessed Gilton acting inappropriately with J.W., Calwell stated that she informed Gilton that J.W. was mature enough to bathe herself. Willison, Hall's former boyfriend, testified that he had seen, on a separate occasion before the February 2016 sexual assault, Gilton bathing and touching J.W. After the State rested, Gilton moved for a directed verdict, which the circuit court denied.

         Gilton then presented his case-in-chief. He called Jessie Mae Gilton as his witness. Jessie Mae is Gilton's wife, and she testified that they were separated but while they were together, she had never witnessed Gilton acting inappropriately while J.W. or any other grandchild was in his care. Gilton renewed his motion for a directed verdict, and the circuit court denied it again. The circuit court found Gilton guilty of both counts of sexual assault. In its oral ruling, the circuit court stated,

The State has produced the proof concerning the age elements. The Court finds that there has been sufficient proof of sexual gratification and of sexual contact. The testimony of the witness Willison was credible. The timeframe bay [sic] be off and the Court will allow it because the child is a victim and the decision is based on the testimony of the statement of the child of the touching of the breasts. I also find that it makes no difference that he was fully clothed when I am finding him guilty because the statute states it can be through clothing.

         The circuit court entered its order on January 25, 2018, sentencing Gilton to eight years' imprisonment on the first count and twelve years' imprisonment on the second count. This timely appeal followed. Gilton's sole argument on appeal is that the circuit court erred in failing to grant his motion for a directed verdict because ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.