Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 12-06405 John
W. Campbell, Judge
a jury trial, the Defendant, Mario Jones, was convicted of
two counts of rape of a child involving two different
victims. He now appeals as of right from those convictions
challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, noting that
there was no forensic evidence to bolster the victims'
narratives and asserting that those narratives lacked
credibility. Following our review, we conclude that the
evidence was sufficient to support the Defendant's
convictions. Therefore, the trial court's judgments are
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
S. Ozment (on appeal), and Larry E. Fitzgerald (at trial),
Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mario Jones.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David
H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney
General; and Abby Wallace and Will Cranford, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
events occurring between August 1, 2009, and October 8, 2009,
the Shelby County Grand Jury charged the Defendant with one
count of rape of a child regarding L.J. and one count of
rape of child regarding D.J. See Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 39-13-522. L.J. and D.J. were siblings, and the
Defendant was the son of the victims' mother's
then-boyfriend. The Defendant resided in the home with the
victims during this timeframe and cared for the victims
sometimes while their mother worked.
Defendant's June 2015 trial, the following facts were
adduced. L.J. testified that she had four siblings: D.J., who
was older than her, and two younger sisters. The youngest
child and the Defendant had the same father.
testified that she was four years old when the Defendant
lived with them. L.J. said that, one afternoon, she was
sitting on the living room couch with her siblings watching
television. During this time, the Defendant touched her
"private part" underneath her clothes and
"then licked his hands[, ]" according to L.J. L.J.
further explained that the Defendant "moved his
hand" while he was touching her on the
"[o]utside" of her body and that he instructed her
not tell her mother or the Defendant's father about this.
continued, stating that the Defendant also asked her to touch
his "private part" with her hand "[u]p inside
his pants" while on the couch. She did not comply, so he
forced her to put "his private part" in her mouth
for about a minute, L.J. said. According to L.J., the
Defendant's "private part" "was just
still" while inside her mouth, and she was
"[s]itting up" and he was "[s]itting
down." She further explained: "[H]e tried to make
me put it up in my mouth, but I didn't do it, and then he
had put it and sticked [sic] it up in my mouth." She
said that she told her siblings to tell their mother.
to L.J., her brother first talked with their mother when she
came home from work that evening, and then L.J. informed her
mother about the incident. She was "nervous" to
tell her mother "[b]ecause [she] thought that ...