Assigned on Briefs December 5, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 12-01774 Lee V.
Defendant, Dwight Gossett, was convicted in the Shelby County
Criminal Court of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B
felony, and sentenced by the trial court to twelve years at
100% in the Department of Correction. The sole issue he
raises on appeal is whether the evidence was sufficient to
sustain his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
A. Timmerman, Bartlett, Tennessee (on appeal); and Lauren
Pasley, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Carrie Shelton and
Bryce H. Phillips, Assistant District Attorneys General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE
September 2, 2010, eight-year-old A.R. and her
six-year-old sister, A.C.R., reported to their mother that
the Defendant, their stepgrandfather at the time, had touched
them inappropriately during visits to their grandmother's
home. Following an investigation, the Defendant was indicted
for two counts of aggravated sexual battery, with one count
based on his behavior with A.R. and the second count based on
his behavior with A.C.R. In 2013, he was tried before a
Shelby County Criminal Court jury, convicted of both counts,
and sentenced by the trial court to an effective term of
twenty-four years in the Department of Correction at 100%
release eligibility. State v. Dwight Gossett, No.
W2013-01120-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 6609353, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Nov. 21, 2014). On direct appeal, this court reversed
the convictions and remanded for a new trial on the basis
that the trial court improperly admitted thirty-plus-year-old
evidence of the Defendant's alleged sexual relationship
with a former minor stepdaughter, and the prosecutor engaged
in improper closing argument by suggesting that a conviction
would provide justice not only for A.R. and A.C.R. but also
for the Defendant's former stepdaughter. Id. at
*9-10, *17. At the conclusion of the Defendant's second
trial, the jury convicted him of the count involving A.C.R.
and acquitted him of the count involving A.R.
February 2016 retrial, Lieutenant Carl J. Ray of the Memphis
Police Department, who was an Investigative Sergeant at the
Child Advocacy Center in September 2010, identified the
Defendant's September 16, 2010 signed waiver of rights
and written statement, which were admitted as exhibits and
published to the jury. Lieutenant Ray testified that he did
not provide any specifics of the allegations during his
interview with the Defendant. The statement reflects that
when Lieutenant Ray asked the Defendant to tell him in his
own words what had occurred to bring about the girls'
allegations, the Defendant replied:
Prior to this I only heard about [A.C.R.] There was an
incident several months ago. I can't tell you exactly
when. I was changing my shirt in my room and she would not
leave. She started bragging about what she has seen on other
males including full exposure of the genitals and touching. I
said, "Mean like this, " and I touch my belt buckle
with her hand and that was about -- I'm pretty sure I
left something out[.] There was a shock look on her face,
looking surprised that I called her on her bragging. From
that point on, I never had a problem getting her out of my
in the statement, the Defendant denied that he had pulled
down his boxer shorts and exposed himself to A.C.R. and A.R.
while instructing A.R. to touch his penis, that he kissed
A.R. on the breasts, or that he inappropriately touched
either child. The Defendant explained that he could have
inadvertently touched the victims' breast areas while
picking them up because they were small children and he had
cross-examination, Lieutenant Ray acknowledged that the
Defendant voluntarily came to the sex ...