SCOTT L. BISHOP
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Assigned on Briefs February 6, 2018
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C-16-71 Donald
H. Allen, Judge
Petitioner, Scott L. Bishop, was convicted of four counts of
aggravated sexual battery and sentenced to serve eleven years
in prison. The Petitioner filed a post-conviction petition
asserting that his trial counsel did not provide effective
assistance, and the post-conviction court denied the petition
after a hearing. On appeal, the Petitioner asserts that trial
counsel was deficient in failing to present character
witnesses, failing to object to leading questions asked by
the prosecutor, and preventing him from viewing the
victim's recorded forensic interview. After a thorough
review of the record, we conclude that the Petitioner is not
entitled to relief, and we affirm the post-conviction
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Morton Googe, District Public Defender, and Gregory D.
Gookin, Assistant District Public Defender, for the
appellant, Scott L. Bishop.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee
W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Jody Pickens, District Attorney
General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Camille R. McMullen and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
trial, the nine-year-old victim of the crimes testified that
the Petitioner "'touched [her] privates, '"
which she specified was the area between her legs, on four
consecutive nights in December 2011. State v. Scott L.
Bishop, No. W2014-01540-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 6859780, at
*1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 6, 2015), no perm. app.
filed. The Petitioner was in a romantic relationship
with the victim's mother, and he had been living with the
victim and her mother for a number of months. Id.
The victim testified that on the fourth night the Petitioner
assaulted her, her mother walked into the room, and the
Petitioner then left the home. Id. at *2.
victim's mother confirmed that on December 15, 2011, the
victim and the Petitioner were lying under a blanket in the
living room watching television, and when the victim's
mother looked in the room, she "observed the Defendant
jerk his arm away from the area of [the victim]'s vagina
'like he'd touched fire.'" Id. The
victim's mother made the Petitioner leave the home but
did not report the crimes. Id. The victim's
grandmother took the Petitioner's belongings to his work
the next day without knowing why the victim's mother
wanted him to move out. Id. The victim's
grandmother became aware of the offenses shortly thereafter,
but she did not report the crimes at the time she became
aware of them. Id. The offenses came to light when
the victim's mother sought financial assistance with her
bills due to the abrupt decline in income brought about by
the Petitioner's departure from the home. Id. at
*2-3. The victim's grandmother revealed the abuse to
relief ministry personnel in frustration after the
victim's mother was told she would probably be denied
assistance. Id. The victim's grandmother also
testified that in March 2012, she went to the place where the
Petitioner was employed as a mechanic, waited for him to get
under her car, and then "'stomped his
privates.'" Id. at *3.
Petitioner attempted to show that the victim had been coached
to testify against him. The victim acknowledged that she had
practiced her testimony, but she indicated that she meant
only that she had spoken about the abuse with different
people. Id. at *2. The victim's grandmother
likewise acknowledged that she took the victim to Mr. Jessee
Whitnall, a teaching assistant at the victim's school,
and asked the victim to tell him about the abuse.
Id. at *3. Mr. Whitnall testified that the
victim's grandmother told the victim to tell about the
abuse as they had "'rehearsed.'"
Id. Mr. Whitnall said that the victim's
grandmother then told him that the victim needed
"'to practice on somebody else.'"
Petitioner testified at trial that he did not touch the
victim inappropriately. Id. at *4. He asserted that
the victim's mother was angry because the Petitioner was
addicted to pain medication and was spending his money on
pills. Id. He did not know that he was accused of
touching the victim until March 2012, when he was interviewed
by police. Id. The Petitioner said that the victim
and her mother came to his new residence with some of his
personal property approximately two weeks after he moved out.
Id. He also testified that the victim's
grandmother came to his work in ...