Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs April 28, 2015
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Anderson County No. B2C00521 Donald Ray Elledge, Judge
H. Daniel Forrester III, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cody Lee Crawford.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Dave Clark, District Attorney General; and Sandra Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE
This is Defendant's appeal from the Anderson County Circuit Court's order requiring Defendant to register as a sex offender as a condition of his suspended sentence.
In December of 2013, Defendant entered guilty pleas to two counts of statutory rape, Class E felonies, in exchange for a two-year sentence on each count as a Range I, standard offender. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. As part of the negotiated plea agreement, Defendant was to serve ten days in incarceration with credit for time served. Additionally, the plea agreement ordered Defendant to "comply with the terms and conditions applicable to sex offenders[, ] including supervision under the sex offender directives;" to complete both a psychosexual evaluation and a drug and alcohol assessment and to follow the recommendations as conditions of supervision; to pay a fine of $100 and court costs; and to refrain from having contact with the victim. Lastly, the plea agreement specified that a partial sentencing hearing would be held to determine "whether the defendant should receive judicial diversion and whether he should be placed on the Sex Offender Registry."
At the hearing on the plea agreement, counsel for the State recited the factual basis for the indictments. The victim, a sixteen-year-old girl, snuck out of her parents' home on the night of June 30, 2012. Upon her return, Defendant dropped her off near her house. The victim's father followed Defendant to his home, where he confronted Defendant. Defendant admitted to both law enforcement personnel and the victim's father that he had sexual relations with the victim twice. Defendant insisted that the victim claimed to be seventeen years old. Law enforcement personnel searched Defendant's home and seized the top part of his mattress to examine for DNA evidence. Defendant's cell phone contained a text message boasting about having sex with a sixteen-year-old.
Prior to the sentencing hearing, a presentence report was prepared by Tiffany Rodd, a probation officer with the Tennessee Department of Correction. The parties stipulated to the report and the attached psychosexual evaluation, performed by William Tillery of the Sex-Offender Treatment Outpatient Program. The report reflected that Defendant was twenty-three years of age with no prior convictions. Defendant had two pending charges in Anderson County for reckless driving and violation of the financial responsibility law. He admitted to marijuana use, starting in middle school. Defendant also reported his association with the Andersonville Mafia, a local gang recognized by law enforcement officers. At the time of the incident, Defendant was employed as a laborer.
At the hearing, the trial court heard testimony from the father of the victim. He described the victim as sixteen years of age and living at home at the time of the incidents; she did not have permission to be in contact with Defendant or to leave the house. On the night of the incident, her parents noticed that she was gone when her dog started "whining and crying." They notified law enforcement personnel, family, and friends that she was missing.
The victim's father eventually saw Defendant drop the victim off about two hundred yards away from her house. The victim's father got in his truck and chased Defendant to his residence, where he confronted Defendant about his actions.
The victim's father explained that the events that occurred between Defendant and the victim changed their family, "tore" it apart, and "ruined his relationship with his daughter." In fact, the victim's father explained that the victim ...