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.

Watt v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

November 10, 2016

WILLIAM JAMES WATT
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Session Date September 13, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2011-A-121 Steve R. Dozier, Judge

         The petitioner, William James Watt, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his 2012 Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of three counts of rape of a child and three counts of aggravated sexual battery, claiming that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William James Watt.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Robert Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE

         In January 2012, a Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the petitioner of three counts of rape of a child and three counts of aggravated sexual battery for the sexual assault of the victim, his wife's granddaughter.

         At trial, the victim's mother testified that in 2010, she left her three children with her mother and the petitioner, whom the children called "Papa, " once a week and that she and her family often ate dinner with her mother and the petitioner. See State v. William James Watt, No. M2012-01487-CCA-R3-CD, slip op. at 3 (Tenn. Crim. App., Nashville, Jan. 10, 2014). During the fall of that year, the four-year-old victim, the youngest of the three children, told her mother that the petitioner had "'tickled her tootie.'" Id., slip op. at 4. The victim elaborated that she and the petitioner were in the bed without their pants on when "she tickled him and that he tickled her." Id. The victim "said that the petitioner told her that she would never see him again if she told anyone." Id. The victim's mother questioned her son about the revelation, and he said he did not know anything about it. After speaking with her husband and her pastor, the victim's mother telephoned the police and reported the victim's allegations.

         The victim submitted to a forensic interview and a medical examination. During a controlled telephone call between the victim's mother and the petitioner, the petitioner "initially denied that he had done anything wrong" but later "'confessed].'" Id., slip op. at 5. In the recorded conversation, which was played for the jury, the petitioner told the victim's mother that "the victim told him that she liked to have her 'tootie'" tickled while the two lay on the bed together. Id. The petitioner said that the victim had then "reached down and touched herself and said that was her 'tootie'" before he admonished her "that 'boys and girls don't touch each other like that.'" Id. The conversation continued for some time before the petitioner said, "'You can go ahead and shoot me, I touched her once. And, yes, it was under the covers.'" Id. He told the victim's mother that he "just touched [the victim] with two fingers to tickle her 'at the very top' of [her] vagina.'" Id. The petitioner insisted that it was an isolated incident and said, "'If there is any way you can keep me out of jail, I would appreciate it. I would do just about anything.'" Id.

         The then six-year-old victim testified that the petitioner had "tickled" her "tootie" on three separate occasions, "once in the attic of his home, once in his bathroom, and once in her 'Nana's room.'" Id., slip op. at 6. The victim recalled that in the attic, the petitioner "touched her 'tootie' on her skin with his hands and a flower" and that he touched both the inside and the outside of her "tootie." On that same occasion, she touched the petitioner's "tootie, " which she described as "long and stretchy." Id. She testified that she and the petitioner also touched each other under the covers "in her Nana's room." She testified that the two also "tickled" each other's private areas while in the bathroom. Id.

         The petitioner's wife testified that she observed two instances of the petitioner's behaving inappropriately toward the victim. On both occasions, she walked in on the pair, and the petitioner had his shirt open and his hands on the victim's legs. See id, slip op. at 7. She said that although it did "occur to her that this might be inappropriate, she could not 'ever fathom that he would do that.'" Id. When the petitioner's wife discussed the victim's allegations with him, he did not deny the victim's claims and "said he was hoping that they could keep it within the family." Id., slip op. at 8.

          When interviewed by the police, the 71-year-old petitioner said that "on three occasions [the victim] entered the bathroom" and, on two of those occasions, she saw him urinating. Id., slip op. at 9. The petitioner said that he did not touch the victim on those occasions but that he did touch her one time while the two watched cartoons. He claimed that the victim had asked him to tickle her "tootie, " and that he had obliged. He maintained, however, "that at no time did he 'do any insertion with [his] finger or anything else.'" Id. On another occasion in the petitioner's bedroom, the victim "pulled his shorts down, " and her "lips touched his penis" twice. Id., slip op. at 10. On that same occasion, the petitioner "also tickled and 'rub[bed]' her tootie for 'maybe a total of four minutes.'" Id. He identified the victim's "tootie" as "the top part of [her] vaginal area where he believed the clitoris was located." Id. The petitioner told the police that the four-year-old victim had "asked him to put his penis inside her, and he told her no." Id. ...


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.