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Dorsey v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

May 22, 2019

SIROME JERRELL DORSEY APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72CR-17-1639] HONORABLE MARK LINDSAY, JUDGE

          Peter E. Giardino, for appellant.

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

          RITA W. GRUBER, CHIEF JUDGE

         A jury convicted appellant of rape and sexual indecency with a child and sentenced him to a total of twenty-seven years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. His sole point on appeal is that the circuit court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of a DVD recording of the victim's interview at the Children's Safety Center. Because this argument is not preserved for our review, we affirm.

         Appellant Sirome Jerrell Dorsey and the victim, twelve-year-old OS, attended a pool party at the home of April Goodlander in Fayetteville on May 28, 2017. Several days after the party, while reviewing the footage from surveillance cameras located in the kitchen and living room, Ms. Goodlander noticed that OS and appellant were often alone together, saw OS drinking alcohol with appellant, and observed what appeared to be inappropriate sexual interactions between them. She alerted OS's mother, who contacted the Fayetteville Police Department. During the course of the investigation, OS was interviewed at the Children's Safety Center. Special investigative detective Scott O'Dell was present at the interview. During the interview, OS disclosed that appellant had digitally penetrated her vagina at the pool party. Detective O'Dell also interviewed appellant and other guests at the pool party. Appellant was convicted by a jury of rape and sexual indecency.

         On appeal, appellant challenges the circuit court's ruling denying his request to present a DVD recording of the interview of OS at the Children's Safety Center. The decision to admit or exclude evidence is within the sound discretion of the circuit court, and we will not reverse a circuit court's decision regarding the admission of evidence absent a manifest abuse of discretion. Starling v. State, 2016 Ark. 20, at 8, 480 S.W.3d 158, 163. Moreover, we will not reverse absent a showing of prejudice. Rodriguez v. State, 372 Ark. 335, 337, 276 S.W.3d 208, 211 (2008).

         At trial, the State introduced the testimony of Detective O'Dell, Ms. Goodlander, the police officer who received the initial report of the incident, the nurse who performed the medical exam on OS, appellant's girlfriend who attended the pool party with him, and OS. Appellant testified in his own defense. During appellant's testimony, he made the following attempt to introduce the DVD at issue:

Defense Counsel: Okay. Now, you had got to go over all this evidence with me, hadn't you?
Appellant: Yes.
Defense Counsel: All right. Were you able to see the interview that [OS] gave at the Child Safety Center?
Appellant: Yes, sir.
Defense Counsel: Okay. May I approach the ...

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