Assigned on Briefs May 2, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 15-00754 J.
Robert Carter, Jr., Judge
Shelby County Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment
charging the Defendant, Deangelo Norton, with rape of a child
and aggravated sexual battery. Pursuant to Rule 412 of the
Tennessee Rules of Evidence, prior to trial the Defendant
filed a notice of his intent to introduce evidence at trial
of the child victim's knowledge of sexual matters. The
trial court held a pretrial evidentiary hearing on the
subject and denied the request, finding the proposed
testimony to be irrelevant. A jury trial followed, and the
Defendant was convicted of both counts. The trial court
merged the convictions and sentenced the Defendant to
twenty-five years at 100%. On appeal, the Defendant argues
that the trial court erred in denying his request to
introduce evidence and that the evidence presented at trial
was insufficient to support his convictions. Following our
review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
Stephen C. Bush, Shelby County Public Defender; Barry W. Kuhn
(on appeal) and Thomas Leith and Katherine Oberembt (at
trial), Assistant Shelby County Public Defenders, for the
appellant, Deangelo Norton.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Joshua N. Corman and
Abby Odom, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined. J. Ross Dyer, J., Not
E. GLENN, JUDGE
victim, who was seven years old at the time of the offenses,
lived in an apartment in Memphis with his parents and younger
sister. During 2011 and 2012, the Defendant, the victim's
uncle, occasionally babysat the victim and his sister. On
August 23, 2012, the victim's mother received a
disturbing telephone call at work from her mother, so she
went home to speak with the victim. She asked the victim,
"Ha[s] [the Defendant] ever d[one] anything to you?
Ha[s] he ever touched you?" The victim began to cry and
appeared nervous. After being reassured by his mother that he
would not get in trouble, the victim confirmed that the
Defendant had touched him inappropriately. In response, she
promised the victim he would never see the Defendant again.
victim testified that he felt scared when he told his mother
about the sexual abuse and offered this summation of the
[The Defendant] took me in my room, told me not to tell
anyone. He put me on my bed. He stuck his peewee in my butt
and . . . [w]e went into the hallway, he put his thing in my
mouth and told me not to let anyone else do it to me.
victim said that the Defendant had "touched [him] more
than one time on [his] butt" and that the last incident
took place shortly before his mother asked him about the
August 24, 2012, the day after the victim disclosed the
sexual abuse to his mother, she took the victim to Christ
Community Health Services where Dr. Elizabeth Elliott treated
him and noted the reason for his visit as follows:
[The victim] is brought in today by his mother due to concern
for possible abuse. [The victim] reports that [the Defendant]
used to hurt him when the [Defendant] was keeping him and his
sister while his mom was at work. He says that the
[Defendant] would place his boy part in [the victim's]
mouth and also in his butt. He cannot tell me the last time
that it happened. Tells ...