[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
FROM THE CLAY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT [NOS.
11CJV-18-12; 11CJV-18-13; 11CJV-18-14], HONORABLE RICHARD
Goodwin Jones, for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Chris R. Warthen, Asst Atty Gen.,
S. HIXSON, Judge
Clay County Circuit Court adjudicated appellant P.J. a
juvenile delinquent on three counts, finding that he
committed one count of second-degree sexual assault and two
counts of third-degree assault. P.J. was fifteen years old
when these acts allegedly occurred, and there were three
separate victims. The trial court placed P.J. on one year
probation and ordered him to complete forty hours of
community service. On appeal, P.J. argues that there was
insufficient evidence to support the delinquency
adjudications. We affirm.
to Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-125(a)(1) (Supp. 2017), a person
commits second-degree sexual assault if the person engages in
sexual contact with another person by forcible compulsion.
"Sexual contact" means any act of sexual
gratification involving the touching, directly or through
clothing, of the sex organs, buttocks, or anus of a person or
the breast of a female. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-101(11) (Supp.
2017). Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-207(a) (Repl. 2013),
a person commits third-degree assault if he purposely creates
apprehension of imminent physical injury in another person.
reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence in a delinquency
case, we apply the same standard of review as in criminal
cases; that is, we view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the State, considering only the proof that tends
to support the finding of guilt. T.R. v. State, 2018
Ark.App. 328, 552 S.W.3d 452. We will affirm if the
adjudication is supported by substantial evidence, which is
evidence that is of sufficient force and character to compel
a conclusion one way or the other without resorting to
speculation or conjecture. Id. In considering the
evidence presented below, we will not weigh the evidence or
assess the credibility of witnesses, because those are
questions for the factfinder. J.N.A. v. State, 2017
Ark.App. 502, 532 S.W.3d 582.
a thirteen-year-old girl, was the alleged victim of the
second-degree sexual assault. M.C. testified that she met
P.J. in the school band and that they started liking each
other. M.C. stated that it "went into a whole new
category" when P.J. would touch her breasts or her butt.
On the night of a basketball game, M.C. was coming back from
the band room when she ran into P.J. in a courtyard outside
of the gymnasium. According to M.C., P.J. tried to kiss her
and she told him "no." Then P.J. shoved her against
a brick wall. M.C. tried to push him off her, but P.J. kept
shoving himself on her. Then P.J. put his left hand on her
shoulder and shoved his right hand down her pants. M.C.
testified that P.J. touched the inside of her vagina. M.C.
stated that she did not want him to do that and that she kept
telling him to stop.
a fourteen-year-old girl, was the alleged victim of one of
the third-degree assaults. M.F. went to school with P.J. and
they were friends. M.F. testified that they would sometimes
walk together and that P.J. would grab her butt, causing her
to jump. When she would jump, P.J. would do it again to see
if she would jump again. P.J. would also touch her on her
breasts and her vagina, and M.F. would tell him to stop or
move his hand, making it very clear that she did not want
that contact. On one occasion in a park, M.F. was walking on
leaves, and P.J. told her that if she kept doing it he would
hit her on her butt and that it would hurt. P.J. hit her on