FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 60CR-16-721]
HONORABLE HERBERT T. WRIGHT, JUDGE
Hancock Law Firm, by: Sharon Kiel, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
R. BAKER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
12, 2018, in Rogers v. State, 2018 Ark. 242, 550
S.W.3d 387, we affirmed the convictions and sentences of
appellant, Edward Darnell Rogers. On July 12, 2018, Rogers
filed a petition for rehearing and the State responded. We
grant the petition for rehearing and issue the following
February 2015, Rogers, was charged with four counts of rape.
The victims, L.W., twins Mi.B. and T.B., and Ma.B. were all
under the age of eighteen at the time of the alleged
offenses. On February 8, 2016, Rogers was convicted by a
Pulaski County Circuit Court jury of three counts of rape and
sentenced to an aggregate sentence of forty years in prison.
Rogers timely appealed to the court of appeals, which
reversed and remanded the matter to the circuit court. The
State filed a petition for review, and on January 25, 2018,
we granted the petition for review. Upon granting a petition
for review, this court considers the appeal as if it had been
originally filed in this court. Pack v. Little Rock
Convention Ctr. & Visitors Bureau, 2013 Ark. 186, at
2-3, 427 S.W.3d 586, 588. On appeal, Rogers presents two
issues: (1) There is insufficient evidence to support his
rape convictions of Mi.B., Ma.B., and L.W.; and (2) the
circuit court erred by not allowing Rogers to impeach L.W.
with a crime of dishonesty.
2003, Tia Bryant moved to a neighborhood in North Little
Rock. Bryant has five children -one adult son and four
daughters. The adult son did not live with Bryant. Rogers
already resided in the neighborhood-living with his mother
across the street from Bryant. The two met and began dating.
In 2006, Rogers moved into Bryant's home with her and her
four daughters, L.W., twins Mi.B. and T.B., and Ma. B. All
four girls testified that Rogers acted as a father to them,
took them to and from school, to extracurricular activities,
and bought clothes and food for them. All four girls
testified that Rogers began touching them inappropriately
when they were young teenagers. They each testified to
multiple sexual encounters, in their early teens, that
trial, the following evidence was presented. The State called
T.B., who was seventeen at the time of the trial, and she
testified that she first met Rogers in 2003 when he began
dating her mother and eventually moved in with them. She
testified that she and her siblings thought of Rogers as a
father and called him "Daddy." T.B. further
testified that when she was thirteen, Rogers started
"kissing and rubbing" on her while she was watching
television in the living room late one night when everyone
else was asleep. She threatened Rogers that she would tell
her mother, and he stopped. T.B. testified that several days
after this incident, Rogers set up his blow-up mattress in
the living room and asked her to come sit with him. T.B.
testified that after kissing T.B. on her face and breasts,
Rogers then went out to his car and retrieved a gold condom.
T.B. testified that he laid her down on the mattress and
penetrated her with his penis. She further testified that she
asked Rogers to stop and that she was crying the entire time.
T.B. testified that after it was over, Rogers wrapped the
used condom in a piece of paper and threw it into the trash.
T.B. testified that two or three weeks later, Rogers asked
her to go grocery shopping with him, drove to a dead-end
street, grabbed a condom from the glove compartment, and
again raped her. T.B. testified that he also performed oral
sex on her. T.B. testified that Rogers raped her on seven or
eight other occasions in her living room, and the rapes
stopped when she fifteen or sixteen years old. T.B. stated
that she threatened to tell her mother, but Rogers told her
that he would hurt her mother and then kill himself.
further testified that she witnessed Rogers abusing her
sisters. One night, she was sleeping in the top bunk of the
bedroom that she shared with Mi.B. and Ma.B., and she saw
Rogers performing oral sex on Ma.B. On a later date, when it
was only T.B. and Mi.B. in the house, T.B. heard a
"clapping noise" and saw Rogers in the living room
having sex with Mi.B. as Mi.B. was bent over the sofa. T.B.
also stated that Rogers had shown her videos of her older
sister, L.W., and Rogers having sex with L.W. on the couch.
T.B. stated that Mi.B. disclosed the rapes to their mother
one afternoon after school in November 2014, and T.B.
confirmed that it had happened to T.B. as well. T.B. stated
that Rogers had moved to a nearby home in October 2013 and
that the abuse stopped at that time, although the family
continued to have some contact with him until the allegations
of rape were disclosed in 2014.
the State called Ma.B., who was sixteen at the time of trial.
She testified that Rogers began touching her inappropriately
when she was twelve or thirteen. Ma.B. testified that the
first time she was raped, she and her sisters were helping
their mother clean a back room of the house and that she was
told to go get the broom. When Ma.B. went into the living
room, Rogers was masturbating, and he asked her to come over
to him. He then grabbed Ma.B.'s hand, placed it on his
penis, and told her to move it up and down. Ma.B. stated that
a few days later, when no one else was at home, Rogers began
kissing and touching her, then he raped her. She testified
that he used a condom with a gold wrapper. Ma.B. testified
that Rogers raped her at least five times, either in the
living room, in her bedroom, or in his car. She stated that
on at least one occasion, Rogers had come into her room at
night and abused her while her sisters were present. Ma.B.
testified that Rogers had also raped her and Mi.B. one time
while they were all in the living room. Ma.B. stated that
Rogers told her that if she told her mother about the abuse,
"it would hurt her." Ma.B. testified she did not
disclose the rapes until her sister Mi.B. told their mother.
Ma.B. testified that she had loved Rogers and called him
"Daddy" prior to the abuse and that she had no
reason to lie about it.
the State called Mi.B., who was seventeen at the time of
trial; she testified that Rogers had helped raise her and her
sisters. Mi.B. testified that when she was thirteen, Rogers
pulled out his penis and told her to touch it and she said
no. On another occasion, Mi.B. testified that her sister had
caught her watching pornography, and Rogers asked her if she
wanted to do any of those things from the video with him -
she told him no and left the room. Mi.B. testified that one
night when everyone else was asleep, Rogers showed her videos
of him having sex with different women, and he then proceeded
to rape her on the blow-up mattress in the living room. Mi.B.
further testified about other times when Rogers raped her on
the couch in the living room and in his car with the seat
reclined. She testified that there was a total of six to
seven rapes over the course of two weeks. According to Mi.B.,
she had also witnessed Rogers having sexual intercourse with
Ma.B. one night while Mi.B. was sleeping next to her. Mi.B.
testified that she had told her mother about the abuse while
they were in the car one afternoon. She stated that she did
not tell her mother earlier because Rogers had threatened to
kill himself and hurt her mother. Mi.B. admitted that she had
recorded a video recanting the allegations and stating that
her mother was just angry with Rogers because he had left
her. However, Mi.B. claimed that she had made the video only
because she thought she would get paid money and could help
her mother, who was struggling financially. Mi.B. testified
that she was lying in the videos but not at trial. She
admitted on cross-examination that she would lie whenever she
felt like it.
State also called Marlon Raglin, who knew Mi.B. through
Raglin's cousin. Raglin testified that Mi.B. had a crush
on him and admitted that he had encouraged her to make the
video. He stated that he knew Rogers through Deshawn Ford,
who lived with Raglin. Raglin claimed that it was actually
his cousin and Ford who had pushed Mi.B. to make the video
and who had helped her film it. Raglin denied that he had
been offered anything from Rogers in return for encouraging
Mi.B. to recant the allegations. Raglin testified that Mi.B.
had told him long before she made the video that the rapes
did not occur and had asked him what to do. Raglin testified
that he had told her "to help the guy out."
State also called Detective Ashley Noel with the North Little
Rock Police Department, who testified that she had
investigated the allegations against Rogers. She testified
that she did not collect any physical evidence from the house
because of the length of time between the alleged acts and
the filing of charges and because she would have expected to
find Rogers's DNA on many items in the house given that
he had resided there for years.
State called L.W., who was twenty-one at trial; she testified
that Rogers had lived with her family off and on beginning
when she was ten and that she thought of him as a father. She
stated that when she was fourteen, Rogers raped her in her
bedroom after school when no one else was at home. L.W. also
testified about another occasion approximately one month
later when he raped her on the couch in the living room. In
total, L.W. stated that Rogers had raped her five or six
times and that the abuse stopped during her senior year in
high school. She testified that she did not see him abuse her
sisters and that she did not tell her mother about the rapes
until she asked about them in November 2014. L.W. testified
that Rogers had threatened to kill her mother and himself if
she told anyone.
State also called Dr. Kristen Long, an emergency room
physician at Arkansas Children's Hospital, who testified
that she examined T.B., Mi.B., and Ma.B. on December 1, 2014.
Dr. Long testified that she did not perform a full genital
exam on the girls because the alleged rapes had occurred more
than one year prior.
the State called Bryant. Bryant testified that she had dated
Rogers and that he had moved in with her in 2003 or 2004.
Bryant testified that Rogers was heavily involved in caring
for the girls and that he treated them like daughters. In
late 2013, Bryant stated that Mi.B. told her that Rogers had
touched her and T.B. inappropriately. Further, Bryant
testified that the girls did not disclose at that time that
they had been raped. Bryant testified that she confronted
Rogers about the alleged inappropriate touching, and he told
her that he "had made a mistake" and that it
"would not happen again." Bryant testified that
soon after this, Rogers moved out of the house although the
family continued to have contact with him. Bryant testified
that in November 2014, Mi.B. disclosed to her that Rogers had
raped her and her sisters and that this was the reason why
Mi.B. had recently run away. Bryant testified that she talked
to each of the girls, one on one, and that they all confirmed
the abuse. Bryant further testified that on the following
day, Bryant told Rogers's sister about the girls'
disclosure, and they called Rogers on speaker phone from
Bryant's car. Bryant stated that Rogers was remorseful
and wanted to talk to her, so she went and met with him.
Bryant testified that Rogers told her that he had been abused
by a relative when he was a boy, and he then threatened to
commit suicide. Bryant testified that she encouraged Rogers
to turn himself in to the police, and she also warned his
mother that he might harm himself. Bryant testified that
later that day, after she had picked up the girls from
school, Bryant took the girls to the police station where
they made a report about the rapes. Bryant testified that the
family had struggled financially after Rogers moved out, but
she denied that she had encouraged her daughters to fabricate
the allegations. Bryant testified that she was not surprised
that Rogers picked Mi.B. to offer money in return for
recanting her accusations because she was a
"follower" and was easily influenced. Bryant
further testified that her daughters had experienced a lot of
difficulties in overcoming the abuse, including having to be
hospitalized for mental breakdowns and suicidal thoughts.
behalf of the defense, Rogers's sister, Tamara Rogers,
testified that she lived with her mother across the street
from Bryant. Tamara understood that Rogers had moved out of
Bryant's home only because there was no room once
Bryant's son's family came to stay with them. Tamara
testified that the Bryant family had continued to maintain a
close relationship with Rogers until he was arrested on the
rape charges. She confirmed that Bryant had told her about
the rape allegations before notifying the police and that
Bryant had phoned Rogers in her presence to confront him.
However, Tamara testified that she listened to their entire
conversation and that her brother did not ever admit to the
additional neighbors and family members of Rogers testified
that they had witnessed him interacting with the girls,
including in 2014 after Rogers had moved out of Bryant's
home, and they testified that they had never noticed any
unusual behavior either by the girls or by Rogers. All of
these witnesses spoke highly of Rogers and were surprised by
the rape charges. Comel Hackett testified that she knew
Rogers and that she worked with L.W. at Target. Hackett
stated that when she learned about Rogers's arrest, he
asked L.W. if Rogers had raped her, and she told him
Rogers testified in his defense and denied the allegations.
Rogers testified that he met Bryant in 2003 or 2004 and moved
in with her after several years of dating. He testified that
he was a father figure to the girls and denied ever having
touched them inappropriately. Rogers testified that he had
moved out in October 2013 because some of his money
"went missing" and no one confessed to taking it.
He testified that Bryant was angry with him for moving out
but that, at first, their relationship continued. He also
testified that he continued to maintain a relationship with
the girls. Rogers stated that the weekend before he was
arrested, he was across the street at his mother's house
with his new girlfriend, and Bryant kept calling his cell
phone. Rogers testified that when he finally spoke with
Bryant, she told him to get that "bitch" away from
her house. Rogers claimed that Bryant had the girls make up
the rape charges because she was mad at him. Rogers testified
in his defense and denied all of the allegations. He also
testified that he moved out because someone was stealing
money from him and that Bryant fabricated the accusations
because she was jealous he was seeing someone else.
deliberations, the jury convicted Rogers of three counts of
rape against Ma.B., Mi.B., and L.W. He was found not guilty
of raping T.B. The jury sentenced Rogers to twenty years'
imprisonment for raping L.W. and Mi.B. and forty years'
imprisonment for raping Ma.B., to be served concurrently.
This appeal followed.
Points on Appeal
Sufficiency of the Evidence
first point on appeal, Rogers contends that substantial
evidence does not support his convictions and sentences. We
treat a motion for a directed verdict as a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence. Whitt v. State, 365
Ark. 580, 232 S.W.3d 459 (2006). When reviewing a challenge
to the sufficiency of the evidence, this court assesses the
evidence in the light most favorable to the State and
considers only the evidence that supports the verdict.
Gillard v. State, 366 Ark. 217, 234 S.W.3d 310
(2006). We will affirm a judgment of conviction if
substantial evidence exists to support it. Id.
Substantial evidence is evidence which is of sufficient force
and character that it will, with reasonable certainty, compel
a conclusion one way or the other, without resorting to
speculation or conjecture. Ricks v. State, 316 Ark.
601, 873 S.W.2d 808 (1994). Further, circumstantial evidence
may provide a basis to support a conviction, but it must be
consistent with the defendant's guilt and inconsistent
with any other reasonable conclusion. Edmond v.
State, 351 Ark. 495, 95 S.W.3d 789 (2003). The
credibility of witnesses is an issue for the jury and not the
court. Burley v. State, 348 Ark. 422, 73 S.W.3d 600
(2002). The trier of fact is free to believe all or part of
any witness's testimony and may resolve questions of
conflicting testimony and inconsistent evidence. Id.
Upon review, this court's role is to determine whether
the jury resorted to speculation and conjecture in reaching
its verdict. Ross v. State, 346 Ark. 225, 57 S.W.3d
152 (2001); Phillips v. State, 344 Ark. 453, 40
S.W.3d 778 (2001). Finally, "in rape cases, we have held
that there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction if
the victim gives 'a full and detailed accounting of the
defendant's actions.' White v. State, 367
Ark. 595, 599, 242 S.W.3d 240, 249 (2006). Uncorroborated
testimony of a rape victim is sufficient evidence to support
a conviction. See Gillard v. State, 366 Ark. 217,
234 S.W.3d 310 (2006). Inconsistencies in the rape
victim's testimony are matters of credibility that are
left for the jury to resolve. See id. The jury may
accept or reject testimony as it sees fit. See
id." Ward v. State, 370 Ark. 398, 400, 260
S.W.3d 292, 294-95 (2007).
was convicted of rape under Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-103,
which provides in pertinent part:
(a) A person commits rape if he or she engages in sexual
intercourse or deviate sexual ...