Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Session February 13, 2018
from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18139 Forest A.
Durard, Jr., Judge
Bedford County jury convicted the Defendant, Steven W. Davis,
of attempted rape and attempted incest. The trial court
imposed an effective six-year sentence. On appeal, the
Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it
sentenced him by misapplying an enhancement factor and by
denying his request for alternative sentencing. After review,
we affirm the trial court's judgments.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit
R. Reeves, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Robert J.
Carter, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr.,
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.
case arises from allegations that the Defendant raped his
granddaughter by digitally penetrating her when she was
fourteen years old. For this offense, a Bedford County Grand
Jury charged the Defendant with rape and incest.
Defendant's trial, the parties presented the following
evidence: The victim's mother testified that she had two
children, the victim and her brother, and that the Defendant
was her father. Her children spent a lot of time with the
Defendant and his wife, their grandmother. The victim looked
up to the Defendant, and he in turn was protective of her.
The Defendant and his wife owned a store where the
victim's mother worked, and she often brought her
children to do school work in a back room of the store while
she worked. The victim's mother took her children to the
store on December 26, 2013; the Defendant was there and his
wife was not. The Defendant asked if the victim could help
him price merchandise in one of the back rooms. The room had
days later, after the victim spent the night at a
friend's house, the friend's mother approached the
victim's mother and asked to have a private conversation
with her. During that conversation, the victim's mother
learned of something "upsetting" that the victim
had said had occurred between the Defendant and the victim. A
group meeting with the victim's mother, the victim, their
pastor, and the friend's mother was held, during which
the victim affirmed that inappropriate physical contact had
happened between she and the Defendant. At the end of the
meeting, the victim's mother notified law enforcement.
victim testified that she was fourteen years old at the time
of the events in question. She said she had spent her entire
life around the Defendant and saw him daily. She loved him
and considered him her best friend. On December 26, 2013,
while at the Defendant's store, the victim and the
Defendant were alone in the back room, pricing merchandise.
The Defendant closed the door to the room and locked it. The
Defendant hugged the victim and, at some point during the
hug, he put his hands inside the victim's pants and
underwear and touched her bottom. The victim testified that
this had happened before. He rubbed his hands on her bottom,
touching the skin, and then he moved his hands to the
victim's front and touched her vagina. His fingers went
inside her vagina. The victim did not want the Defendant to
touch her this way. It lasted approximately two minutes and
made the victim feel "awful."
that same day, the Defendant took the victim back into the
room, closed the door, and put his hands on her breasts under
her bra. The Defendant asked the victim if he could touch her
again, and she said "no." The next day, the victim
told a friend what had happened, and the friend's mother
told the victim's mother.
victim testified that about a year before these events
occurred, the Defendant asked to look at the victim's
vagina because he was "curious, " so the victim
took off her clothes and let him look.
victim's aunt testified that she confronted the
Defendant, her father, in a telephone conversation about what
he had done. The Defendant told her he was sorry and that he
"only touched" the victim and did not have
intercourse with her.
Carol Jean, a Shelbyville Police Department detective, stated
that she investigated this case, starting by interviewing the
victim's mother and later interviewing the victim.
Detective Jean described the victim as traumatized and very
upset, and said that it was "extremely difficult"
for the victim to talk about what had happened. The victim
described the Defendant's sexual conduct to Detective
Jean consistently with the victim's testimony at trial.
Jean interviewed the Defendant on February 6, 2014, which was
recorded on video. A portion of the video was played for the
jury, during which the Defendant denied digitally penetrating
upon this evidence, the jury convicted the Defendant of
attempted rape and attempted incest.
following evidence was presented at the sentencing hearing:
The victim's mother testified that she knew the Defendant
had had an affair in the past and to her knowledge it was
with a teenage girl. She testified that him touching the
victim in December of 2013 was not an isolated incident and
that it had happened before. The victim's mother stated
that the Defendant needed to be incarcerated to prevent him
from touching another child. The victim went to counseling
after the incident for almost a year and was diagnosed with
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the aftermath of the
incident, the victim had trouble sleeping, had nightmares,
and was afraid of seeing the Defendant out in ...