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Date: 01-28-2018

Case Style:

STATE OF OHIO v. DARRYL CORE

Case Number: 27512

Judge: Mark A. Fisher

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT, MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Plaintiff's Attorney: SARAH E. HUTNIK
Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office

Defendant's Attorney: Mark Fisher

Description: Darryl Core appeals from his conviction and sentence on one count of
promoting prostitution, a fourth-degree felony.
{¶ 2} In two related assignments of error, Core challenges the legal sufficiency and
manifest weight of the evidence to sustain his conviction. The record reflects that a jury
convicted Core of violating R.C. 2907.22(A)(2), which provides that no person shall
knowingly “supervise, manage, or control the activities of a prostitute in engaging in
sexual activity for hire.”
{¶ 3} At trial, Detective Matt Overholt testified that he was conducting an
undercover prostitution sting out of a rented apartment on November 10, 2016. (Trial Tr.
at 23-24). On that occasion, he responded to an advertisement on an internet page where
prostitutes offered to perform sex acts for money. (Id. at 25-26). In the ad, a prostitute
named “Ashley” identified specific sex acts she would perform and included the price for
each act. The ad also contained pictures of Ashley. (Id. at 27-28). Overholt exchanged a
series of text messages with Ashley and agreed to pay her $200 for an hour of her time
during which she would engage in sexual intercourse with him at his apartment. (Id. at
28-39). Ashley arrived at the appointed time and entered the apartment. (Id. at 40-41).
After some preliminary conversation, Overholt and Ashley discussed the specific sex acts
she would perform and money was exchanged. (Id. at 44-46). At that point, other officers
in the apartment came out of hiding and arrested Ashley. (Id. at 46-47).
{¶ 4} The next witness for the prosecution was Ashley. She testified that she was
homeless and at a bus stop when Core and his girlfriend pulled their car up to a stop light.
Core offered Ashley a ride, and she accepted. Ashley testified that she was addicted to


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drugs at the time. On the way to her destination, she got Core’s phone number so she
could “get in contact with him if [she] wanted to get drugs.” (Id.). A couple of days later,
Ashley called Core and asked him to pick her up in Fairborn. (Id. at 61). Core and his
girlfriend picked her up in his girlfriend’s car and took her to his girlfriend’s house, where
Core also resided. Core gave Ashley drugs and asked how she got money. She replied
that she “was panhandling” and had “done dates” in the past before becoming homeless.
(Id. at 62). Core responded by offering Ashley his phone and use of his girlfriend’s house
so she could place internet ads and make money prostituting herself again. (Id. at 63, 90).
In exchange, Core proposed that Ashley give him half of the money she earned. (Id. at
90, 93). Ashley agreed and posted the ad to which Detective Overholt responded. Ashley
examined the ad at trial and confirmed that she had offered to perform sex acts for money.
(Id. at 64-65). She also confirmed her use of Core’s phone to post the ad. (Id. at 65-67).
{¶ 5} Ashley testified that when people responded to the ad, Core sometimes
texted them back instead of her doing it. (Id.). Other times, she would use his phone and
text them herself. (Id.). Prior to her encounter with Overholt, Ashley met two other men
through her ad. She had sex with one of the men at a motel in exchange for money. On
that occasion, Core’s girlfriend drove Ashley to the motel with Core also in the car. Core
and his girlfriend waited outside the motel until Ashley was finished. They then drove her
back to Core’s girlfriend’s house. Ashley gave Core half of the money she earned in
exchange for use of his phone, a place to stay, and food to eat. (Id. at 68-70). Ashley
testified that it was Core’s idea to split the money equally. (Id. at 70). Ashley did not
engage in sexual activity with the second man who responded to her ad. That person was
a “prior customer” of Ashley’s. She met him in his car and “told him some story” about


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needing money. He then gave her $200 as a gift. (Id. at 71-72).
{¶ 6} Regarding her encounter with Overholt, Ashley testified that Core sent some
of the text messages to the detective that purported to be from her. (Id. at 73, 83, 103
104). Core also took a picture of her and sent it to Overholt. (Id.) As for the nature of her
relationship with Core, Ashley testified that she felt like “he was in charge” because “he
was providing the phone and the house for [her] to stay at, [and] the food that [she] was
eating.” (Id. at 80). She felt like she could not say no to prostituting “if [she] wanted a roof
over [her] head, and food in [her] stomach[.]” (Id.).
{¶ 7} The final witness was Detective Andrew McCoy. He testified that he
monitored the parking lot outside the apartment where Detective Overholt met Ashley.
(Id. at 123). He watched Ashley exit a car and enter the apartment. He then observed
Core and his girlfriend waiting for Ashley in the girlfriend’s car. (Id. at 125-126). After
Ashley’s arrest, McCoy approached the car and obtained Core’s cell phone, which had
been used to create the internet ad. (Id. at 127-128).
{¶ 8} Based on the evidence presented, the jury found Core guilty of promoting
prostitution. The trial court imposed an eighteen-month prison sentence and designated
him a Tier I sex offender. (Doc. #49). This appeal followed.
{¶ 9} In his two assignments of error, which are briefed and argued together, Core
challenges the legal sufficiency and manifest weight of the evidence to sustain his
conviction. Specifically, he contends the State failed to prove that he supervised,
managed, or controlled the activities of a prostitute. Core notes that his girlfriend actually
drove her own car when they transported Ashley for “dates.” The house that Core and his
girlfriend provided for Ashley to use also was owned by Core’s girlfriend. Core notes too


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that he did not dictate the content of Ashley’s internet ad. Nor did he take part in setting
the fees for her services or determine which sex acts she was willing to perform. Ashley
also had discretion to decide when to go on “dates.” Although Ashley gave Core money
from her prostitution, Core insists that it was only for “living expenses.” For the foregoing
reasons, Core contends the evidence fails to support his conviction for promoting
prostitution.
{¶ 10} When a defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, he is arguing
that the State presented inadequate evidence on an element of the offense to sustain the
verdict as a matter of law. State v. Hawn, 138 Ohio App.3d 449, 471, 741 N.E.2d 594 (2d
Dist. 2000). “An appellate court’s function when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence
to support a criminal conviction is to examine the evidence admitted at trial to determine
whether such evidence, if believed, would convince the average mind of the defendant’s
guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the
evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have
found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” State v.
Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, 574 N.E.2d 492 (1991), paragraph two of the syllabus.
{¶ 11} Our analysis is different when reviewing a manifest-weight argument. When
a conviction is challenged on appeal as being against the weight of the evidence, an
appellate court must review the entire record, weigh the evidence and all reasonable
inferences, consider witness credibility, and determine whether, in resolving conflicts in
the evidence, the trier of fact “clearly lost its way and created such a manifest miscarriage
of justice that the conviction must be reversed and a new trial ordered.” State v.
Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 387, 678 N.E.2d 541 (1997). A judgment should be


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reversed as being against the manifest weight of the evidence “only in the exceptional
case in which the evidence weighs heavily against the conviction.” State v. Martin, 20
Ohio App.3d 172, 175, 485 N.E.2d 717 (1st Dist.1983).
{¶ 12} With the foregoing standards in mind, we conclude that Core’s conviction is
supported by legally sufficient evidence and is not against the weight of the evidence.
Core was convicted of violating R.C. 2907.22(A)(2) for knowingly supervising, managing,
or controlling the activities of a prostitute in engaging in sexual activity for hire. As set
forth above, the record reflects that Core allowed Ashley to reside with him and his
girlfriend in exchange for half of the money she earned through prostitution. He also let
her use his cell phone to post her internet ad, took a picture of her, exchanged text
messages with potential clients on Ashley’s behalf, and at least twice accompanied her
to appointments where he waited outside in the car for her. This evidence, if believed, is
legally sufficient to support a finding that Core supervised or managed Ashley’s sexual
activity for hire. After reviewing the evidence, we also cannot say the jury clearly lost its
way and created a manifest miscarriage of justice in convicting him. The present case is
not one in which the evidence weighs heavily against Core’s conviction.

Outcome: Core’s two assignments of error are overruled, and the judgment of the
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court is affirmed.

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Defendant's Experts:

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