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State v. King

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

December 30, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
DUSTIN TODD KING

          Assigned on Briefs December 11, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Marshall County No. 2018-CR-150 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         Dustin Todd King, Defendant, pled guilty to four counts of aggravated statutory rape and one count of violation of a no-contact order with the trial court to determine the length and manner of service of the sentences after a sentencing hearing. The trial court sentenced Defendant to an effective sentence of four years, eleven months and twenty-nine days, ordering partial consecutive sentencing. As a collateral consequence, the Defendant was placed on the sex offender registry. On appeal, Defendant challenges his sentence as excessive. After a review, we determine that the trial court sentenced Defendant to a sentence within the range for each conviction and followed the proper sentencing procedure. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          Donna Hargrove, District Public Defender; Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Dustin Todd King.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth Anne Thompson, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Andrew Wright, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

         Factual Background

         On July 23, 2018, Defendant was arrested on warrants issued by the Marshall County General Sessions Court charging him with four counts of aggravated statutory rape. According to the affidavits accompanying the warrants, Defendant had "sexual intercourse with a 17[-]year[-]old female at his residence" on or about June 23, June 29, June 30, and July 8, 2018. The affidavits indicated that Defendant was 29 years of age and knew the age of the victim.[1] Defendant was granted bail and signed an order prohibiting him from contacting the victim. Phone records from the victim's phone indicate that Defendant called her numerous times the day after his release. A fifth warrant was issued for one count of violation of bond conditions on August 3, 2018.

         Defendant gave a statement to police on July 30. In that statement, Defendant admitted that he met the victim at work. They "hung out at work and talked for several weeks" before they started dating in mid-June. Defendant, who was 29 years of age at the time, admitted that he knew that the victim was 17 years old. Defendant explained that "age didn't matter" and that he had sex with the victim for the first time on June 23 or 24. Defendant admitted that he had sex with the victim again on June 29 and 30. Defendant explained that he was arrested on July 7 in Williamson County for driving on a suspended license. The next day, the victim bonded Defendant out of jail. They returned to Defendant's house but did not have sex that day. Defendant explained that they were "safe" about sex and "planned to get married when she turned 18." Defendant stated that his arrest did not change their plans to get married.

         The victim also gave a statement to police. She admitted that she and Defendant were in a relationship and that she had "consensual sex 2 or 3 times" with Defendant.

         In September of 2018, Defendant was indicted by the Marshall County Grand Jury for four counts of aggravated statutory rape and one count of a violation of a no-contact order. Defendant pled guilty to all five counts of the indictment on December 5, 2018, with the trial court to determine the manner and service of the sentence after a sentencing hearing. At the guilty plea hearing, counsel for the State presented the following as the factual basis for the plea:

[O]n or about several days, stemming from June 23rd through July 8th, [D]efendant . . . did engage in sexual penetration of a juvenile female, then the age of 17 years old. [Defendant] at the time was 29 years old. [Defendant's] date of birth is ...

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