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Date: 06-18-2021

Case Style:


Case Number: 19AP0043, 19AP0044

Judge: Jennifer L. Hensal


Plaintiff's Attorney: DANIEL R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and ANDREA D. UHLER, Assistant Prosecuting

Defendant's Attorney:

Akron, Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


Akron, Ohio - Criminal defense attorney represented Kevin Jamison with one count of rape and one count of sexual battery charge.

H.R. testified that she met Mr. Jamison through an online dating site where he went
by the name Calvin. After exchanging messages with Mr. Jamison for several weeks, they decided
to meet each other. Mr. Jamison told her that he was staying at a hotel in Canton and H.R. arrived
there between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. Immediately, Mr. Jamison began undressing H.R., but she
resisted, telling him that she was not ready and did not want to continue. Mr. Jamison stopped and
left the room, saying he was going to get something to eat as H.R. put her clothes back on.
{¶3} The following morning, H.R. and Mr. Jamison resumed sending messages to each
other. H.R. told Mr. Jamison that was not what she meant when she said she wanted to meet up 2

with him and, after Mr. Jamison apologized, thought that maybe it was just a misunderstanding
about what she wanted. After exchanging messages with each other for another week, H.R. and
Mr. Jamison made plans to meet up again, this time at H.R.’s home.
{¶4} According to H.R., she had offered to make dinner for Mr. Jamison. When he
arrived, however, he walked right inside without knocking and headed straight through the
residence saying that he needed to lay down. Unaccustomed to letting people wander through her
house, H.R. followed him to her bedroom where Mr. Jamison lay on the bed. When H.R. sat down
on the bed next to him, Mr. Jamison started trying to kiss her and take her clothes off. H.R. testified
that she told Mr. Jamison that she did not want to do that but he kept going, removing her shirt and
bra. Although H.R. continued telling Mr. Jamison “no,” he told H.R. to trust him and she did not
know what to do. She continued following along with his actions, allowing him to rub his penis
between her breasts and enter her mouth while she was on top of him. H.R. suggested that she
could make dinner for them, but Mr. Jamison told her that he was not hungry, so she laid down
next to him. He got above her, took down her pants, moved her underwear aside, and began
performing oral sex on her. After doing so for a while, he pulled her underwear down and entered
her vaginally with his penis. She is not sure whether Mr. Jamison ejaculated, but when he was
finished, he took a shower and asked for something to drink. When he finished showering, Mr.
Jamison asked H.R. for a ride, and H.R. complied. After H.R. dropped Mr. Jamison off, she drove
to Walmart for some trash bags and also ended up buying a new outfit. She attempted to text Mr.
Jamison, but he did not text her back. That evening she slept on her couch. The next day, H.R.
called her mother and told her about what had happened. Her mother persuaded her to go to a
hospital where she met with a sexual assault nurse examiner. Law enforcement was able to identify
that “Calvin” was Mr. Jamison from DNA on the glass he had used at the house. 3

{¶5} The Grand Jury indicted Mr. Jamison for one count of rape and one count of sexual
battery. It also indicted him for the same offenses against another woman, but the counts were
severed. While awaiting trial, Mr. Jamison was also indicted for failing to comply with the order
or signal of a police officer and other related offenses. The offenses involving H.R. were tried to
a jury, which found Mr. Jamison guilty of both offenses. Mr. Jamison subsequently pleaded guilty
to the failure to comply offense, and the trial court found him guilty of it. After merging the rape
and sexual battery offenses, the court sentenced Mr. Jamison to 11 years imprisonment for rape
and three years for failure to comply, which it ordered to run consecutive for a total sentence of 14
years. Mr. Jamison has appealed, assigning six errors.
{¶6} In his first assignment of error, Mr. Jamison argues that there was insufficient
evidence to support his conviction of rape. Whether a conviction is supported by sufficient
evidence is a question of law, which we review de novo. State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380,
386 (1997). In carrying out this review, our “function * * * 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.” State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259 (1991), paragraph
two of the syllabus. “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.” Id.
{¶7} The jury found Mr. Jamison guilty of violating Revised Code Section
2907.02(A)(2). That section provides that “[n]o person shall engage in sexual conduct with 4

another when the offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of
force.” “Sexual conduct[,]” in part, “means vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal
intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex * * *.” R.C. 2907.01(A).
“‘Force’ means any violence, compulsion, or constraint physically exerted by any means upon or
against a person or thing.” R.C. 2901.01(A)(1). Section 2907.02 “requires only that minimal force
or threat of force be used in the commission of the rape.” State v. Dye, 82 Ohio St.3d 323, 328
{¶8} Mr. Jamison notes that H.R. testified that he made her “want to suck his penis[,]”
that she helped him pull her pants down by arching her back, and that he merely told her that what
was happening was ok and to trust him. He argues the evidence shows that H.R. helped him
remove her clothes and willingly performed oral sex on him while she was on top of him. He
argues that he did not have any weapons, that he did not use any force, that he did not make any
threats, and that H.R. did not suffer any injuries. He further argues that, considering H.R. weighs
80 pounds more than him, it would have been difficult for him to physically overpower her.
{¶9} Much of Mr. Jamison’s argument goes to the weight of the evidence not the
sufficiency. In State v. Eskridge, 38 Ohio St.3d 56 (1988), the Ohio Supreme Court determined
that removing a victim’s underwear was an “act[ ] of compulsion and constraint that [was]
independent of the act of rape.” Id. at 58. In this case, H.R. testified that Mr. Jamison pulled her
underwear aside to perform oral sex on her and pulled it down in order to engage in vaginal
intercourse with her. Under Eskridge and Dye, we conclude that, when viewed in a light most
favorable to the prosecution, those actions were sufficient to constitute the use of force under
Section 2907.02(A)(2). See also State v. Mason, 82 Ohio St.3d 144, 163-164 (1998) (including
fact that victim’s jeans and underwear were pulled down below her knees as evidence of use of 5

force). We, therefore, conclude that Mr. Jamison’s conviction for rape is supported by sufficient
evidence. Mr. Jamison’s first assignment of error is overruled.
{¶10} In his second assignment of error, Mr. Jamison argues that his convictions are
against the manifest weight of the evidence. When considering a challenge to the manifest weight
of the evidence, this Court is required to consider the entire record, “weigh the evidence and all
reasonable inferences, consider the credibility of witnesses 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. Otten,
33 Ohio App.3d 339, 340 (9th Dist.1986). Weight of the evidence pertains to the greater amount
of credible evidence produced in a trial to support one side over the other side. Thompkins, 78
Ohio St.3d 380, at 387. An appellate court should only exercise its power to reverse a judgment
as against the manifest weight of the evidence in exceptional cases. State v. Carson, 9th Dist.
Summit No. 26900, 2013-Ohio-5785, ¶ 32, citing Otten at 340.
{¶11} Mr. Jamison argues that H.R. was not credible. He contends that her behavior was
not consistent with someone who has just been raped, noting that, instead of going to the police
station after dropping him off, she went shopping for a new outfit. She also waited to see if he
needed another ride later that night. He argues that what actually happened was H.R. went along
with the sexual activity willingly, helping him take her shirt and pants off, and that her story only
changed after he failed to return her text messages. Mr. Jamison notes that H.R. did not have any
bruising from the sexual activity even though she testified that she bruises easily and had some
older bruises on her body at the time she was examined at the hospital. Mr. Jamison also argues 6

that H.R. lied during her testimony about whether it was her or her husband who had filed for
divorce and that this shows her overall untrustworthiness. Mr. Jamison also argues that the
evidence collected was inconsistent with what H.R. said happened. Specifically, he notes that the
only place where his DNA was found was on her underwear despite her claim that they engaged
in a wide range of sexual conduct. Investigators also discovered no blood anywhere on the bed
even though H.R. claimed that she was menstruating when it happened. Mr. Jamison further
argues that H.R. appeared confused about what occurred, stating at one point that she was living
in an apartment and another time in a house. Finally, Mr. Jamison argues that H.R. was being
coached by her mother, noting that the court had to admonish the mother to stop making signs and
gestures to H.R.
{¶12} The credibility of the witnesses is primarily for the trier of the facts to determine.
State v. DeHass, 10 Ohio St.2d 230 (1967), paragraph one of the syllabus. “In reaching its verdict,
the jury was in the best position to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses and it was entitled to
believe all, part, or none of the testimony of each witness.” State v. Shank, 9th Dist. Medina No.
12CA0104-M, 2013-Ohio-5368, ¶ 29. In this case, there was no evidence presented regarding the
typical behaviors of a victim of rape. The State argues that H.R.’s actions exhibited that she did
not want to return to her home right away after dropping Mr. Jamison off and that she was unable
to sleep in the bed where the alleged offenses occurred, choosing to try to sleep on the couch
instead. In addition, H.R. was then unable to sleep and ended up trying to get in touch with her
contacts, finally deciding to go for another drive around 4:00 a.m.
{¶13} Regarding H.R.’s testimony, as Mr. Jamison had identified, she was unable to
remember some of the details of her unrelated divorce case and could not remember some of the
particulars of the sexual activity such as how long different phases of it lasted, whether her 7

underwear was up or down during some of the different acts, and when Mr. Jamison may or may
not have ejaculated. Regarding the DNA evidence, we note that H.R. had taken a shower and
changed her clothes between when the sexual activity occurred and when she was examined at the
hospital. Finally, although the court admonished H.R.’s mother, it simply explained that spectators
had to be unemotional and that she could not attempt to support H.R. while she was testifying.
Mr. Jamison did not object to the mother’s continued presence or allege at the time that the mother
was attempting to coach H.R. as opposed to simply reacting to H.R.’s testimony.
{¶14} Upon review of the record, despite some minor inconsistencies in H.R.’s testimony,
we cannot say that the jury clearly lost its way and created such a manifest miscarriage of justice
that Mr. Jamison’s convictions should be overturned. Mr. Jamison’s second assignment of error
is overruled.
{¶15} In his third assignment of error, Mr. Jamison argues that the trial court incorrectly
sentenced him to fourteen years imprisonment. In reviewing a felony sentence, “[t]he * * *
standard for review is not whether the sentencing court abused its discretion.” R.C. 2953.08(G)(2).
“[A]n appellate court may vacate or modify a felony sentence on appeal only if it determines by
clear and convincing evidence” that: (1) “the record does not support the trial court's findings under
relevant statutes[,]” or (2) “the sentence is otherwise contrary to law.” State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio
St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002, ¶ 1. Clear and convincing evidence is that “which will produce in
the mind of the trier of facts a firm belief or conviction as to the facts sought to be established.”
Cross v. Ledford, 161 Ohio St. 469 (1954), paragraph three of the syllabus. 8

{¶16} A sentencing court has “full discretion to impose a prison sentence within the
statutory range” and is not “required to make findings or give their reasons for imposing * * *
more than the minimum sentence[ ].” State v. Foster, 109 Ohio St.3d 1, 2006-Ohio-856, paragraph
seven of the syllabus. “[N]evertheless, * * *, the court must carefully consider the statutes that
apply to every felony case. Those include R.C. 2929.11, which specifies the purposes of
sentencing, and R.C. 2929.12, which provides guidance in considering factors relating to the
seriousness of the offense and recidivism of the offender.” State v. Mathis, 109 Ohio St.3d 54,
2006-Ohio-855, ¶ 38.
{¶17} Mr. Jamison argues that the trial court failed to properly consider the required
sentencing factors when it imposed his sentence. He argues that there was nothing about the
offenses that made them more serious in nature or the worse form of the offense. He also argues
that some statements by the court suggest that it considered the rape count that had been severed
from the case, even though he was acquitted of that alleged offense.
{¶18} The sentencing hearing indicates that the trial court reviewed presentence
investigation reports that had been prepared regarding both offenses. Those reports, however,
have not been made part of the appellate record. It is the appellant’s responsibility to ensure that
the record on appeal contains all matters necessary to allow this Court to resolve the issues on
appeal. State v. Daniel, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27390, 2014-Ohio-5112, ¶ 5, citing App.R. 9. This
Court has consistently held that, if the appellant has failed to provide a complete record to facilitate
appellate review, we are compelled to presume regularity in the proceedings below and affirm the
trial court's judgment. Id., citing State v. McGowan, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27092, 2014-Ohio2630, ¶ 6. 9

{¶19} The information in the presentence investigation reports would have directly
influenced the trial court’s assessment of the seriousness of the offenses and its determination of
the minimum sentences required to fulfill the purposes of felony sentencing. State v. Shelton, 9th
Dist. Lorain No. 18CA011368, 2019-Ohio-1694, ¶ 8. In cases such as this where the presentence
investigation report is necessary to enable an appropriate review of the propriety of the sentence,
Mr. Jamison’s failure to ensure that the record includes those reports requires this Court to presume
regularity in the sentencing proceedings. State v. Yuncker, 9th Dist. Medina No. 14CA0068–M,
2015–Ohio–3933, ¶ 17, citing Daniel at ¶ 5; McGowan at ¶ 6. Accordingly, this Court cannot
conclude that there is clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Jamison’s sentence is contrary to
law. Mr. Jamison’s third assignment of error is overruled.
{¶20} In his fourth assignment of error, Mr. Jamison argues that the trial court incorrectly
admitted other acts evidence by allowing a witness to explain that the State obtains DNA profiles
when someone is arrested, implying that he must have been arrested previously. Evidence Rule
404(B) provides that “[e]vidence of other crimes, wrongs or acts is not admissible to prove the
character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith * * * [but may] * * * be
admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan,
knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.” “The admissibility of other-acts evidence
pursuant to Evid.R. 404(B) is a question of law.” State v. Graham, 162 Ohio St.3d 435, 2020-
Ohio-6700, ¶ 72. “The court is precluded from admitting improper character evidence under
Evid.R. 404(B), but it has discretion to allow other-acts evidence that is admissible for a
permissible purpose.” Id. 10

{¶21} A police officer testified that they learned that Mr. Jamison was the individual who
had been with H.R. because there had been “a hit confirmation through BCI through CODIS which
is a system that allows once you’ve been arrested your DNA is in the system and any time DNA
is gathered from another crime they compare that DNA to anything in CODIS.” We note, however,
that Mr. Jamison did not object to the officer’s testimony. “A defendant forfeits appellate review
of an alleged error at trial if [he] fails to contemporaneously object to that error at trial.” State v.
McCallum, 9th Dist. No. Medina No. 08CA0037-M, 2009-Ohio-1424, ¶ 19; Grantham at ¶ 64.
Because Mr. Jamison does not argue plain error on appeal, we will not address his other acts
argument. McCallum at ¶ 19. Mr. Jamison’s fourth assignment of error is overruled.
{¶22} In his fifth assignment of error, Mr. Jamison argues that there were multiple errors
during that trial that collectively deprived him of a fair trial. “Under the doctrine of cumulative
error, ‘a conviction will be reversed when the cumulative effect of errors in a trial deprives a
defendant of a fair trial even though each of the numerous instances of trial-court error does not
individually constitute cause for reversal.’” State v. Froman, __ Ohio St.3d __, 2020-Ohio-4523,
¶ 156, quoting State v. Powell, 132 Ohio St.3d 233, 2012-Ohio-2577, ¶ 223.
{¶23} Mr. Jamison argues first that a police officer was incorrectly allowed to testify as
an expert witness about whether H.R. is developmentally delayed. The officer said that it was
evident to him that H.R. was slightly developmentally delayed because she was unfamiliar with
some normal social concepts even though she was 36 years old and because she told him that she
would never drive to Canton by herself. Second, Mr. Jamison points to H.R.’s mother’s alleged 11

coaching of H.R. Third, he argues that the court improperly allowed a juror to remain on the jury
even after the juror realized that she knew H.R. Specifically, the juror explained that H.R. had cut
her husband’s hair and had purchased her a birthday drink at a local restaurant only a week before
the trial. Finally, Mr. Jamison argues that the nurse examiner should not have been allowed to
testify because Mr. Jamison had previously had a sexual relationship with her and had met her
through the same dating site as H.R.
{¶24} Regarding the officer’s testimony, the State did not represent that the officer was
an expert on intelligence. His testimony was merely about the inferences he drew based on his
conversation with H.R., which is permitted opinion testimony under Rule 701. Regarding H.R.’s
mother, although the mother was displaying emotion based on H.R.’s testimony, there is no
indication in the record that she was attempting to coach H.R. Regarding the juror who recognized
H.R., both parties were able to question the juror, who stated she was only an acquaintance of H.R.
and could remain fair and impartial. Mr. Jamison had an opportunity to examine the juror about
her connection to H.R. and did not object to her remaining on the panel. Finally, regarding the
nurse examiner, we note that Mr. Jamison’s identity was not known at the time that she examined
H.R. and that the State’s questioning of the nurse was confined to the evidence collected during
the examination. The only time that she offered an opinion about what might have occurred was
in response to Mr. Jamison’s questioning.
{¶25} Upon review of the record, we conclude that Mr. Jamison has failed to establish
that the trial court committed multiple errors in this case. Accordingly, the doctrine of cumulative
error is not applicable. State v. Hunter, 131 Ohio St.3d 67, 2011-Ohio-6524, ¶ 132. Mr. Jamison’s
fifth assignment of error is overruled.

{¶1} In his sixth assignment of error, Mr. Jamison argues that that his trial counsel was
ineffective. To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, Mr. Jamison must establish
that: (1) his counsel’s performance was deficient to the extent that “counsel was not functioning
as the ‘counsel’ guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment” and (2) “the deficient
performance prejudiced the defense.” Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984). A
deficient performance is one that falls below an objective standard of reasonable representation.
State v. Bradley, 42 Ohio St.3d 136 (1989), paragraph two of the syllabus. A court, however,
“must indulge a strong presumption that counsel’s conduct falls within the wide range of
reasonable professional assistance; that is, the defendant must overcome the presumption that,
under the circumstances, the challenged action ‘might be considered sound trial strategy.’”
Strickland at 689, quoting Michel v. Louisiana, 350 U.S. 91, 101 (1955). To establish prejudice,
Mr. Jamison must show that there existed a reasonable probability that, but for his counsel’s errors,
the outcome of the proceeding would have been different. State v. Sowell, 148 Ohio St.3d 554,
2016-Ohio-8025, ¶ 138.
{¶26} Mr. Jamison argues that his counsel should have sought to prevent the juror who
knew H.R. from remaining on the jury because she had received a gift from H.R. and had reason
to know H.R.’s character. He also argues that his counsel should have moved for a mistrial based
on the conduct of H.R.’s mother, alleging that the mother was clearly coaching H.R.
{¶27} Mr. Jamison’s counsel asked the juror whether she knew H.R.’s “reputation in the
community or anything like that about her” and the juror replied that she did not. He also asked
the juror whether anything about her relationship with H.R. would impair her ability to evaluate 13

the evidence critically and the juror answered that she would “base everything off of evidence and
use my best judgment by going off of what is seen and heard today.” The court then asked whether
the juror would feel comfortable having herself as a juror if she was in the defendant’s place and
the juror replied that she would not, but again emphasized that she would “use [her] best judgment
by evidence only.” Following the examination of the juror, Mr. Jamison’s counsel did not object
to letting the juror continue to serve.
{¶28} Defense counsel asked appropriate questions of the juror about her potential bias
and was satisfied from her answers that the juror could remain impartial. There is nothing in the
record to suggest that his assessment was inaccurate or that his failure to object constituted deficit
{¶29} Regarding the conduct of H.R.’s mother, the court suggested that the mother was
“shaking your head, making signs, whatever” and that he did not know if she was doing it
intentionally. The court noted that many times spectators make gestures and that they may not
even be conscious of it. It instructed the mother that, when someone was on the stand, she needed
to have a poker face on and not make any gestures or emotional outbreaks. Following a response
that was not captured by the court reporter, the court stated that it did not want to get into a lengthy
discussion and that it recognized that H.R. was her daughter and that the testimony was difficult
to hear, but that the mother had to be unemotional and not display anything, recognizing it was
easier to say than do. The court also mentioned that H.R. might be looking for emotional support,
but that the mother could not react and could not try to help her out.
{¶30} The exchange with H.R.’s mother shows that she may have been attempting to lend
emotional support to H.R. while H.R. was testifying and may have been reacting emotionally to
the testimony H.R. was giving. There is no indication, however, that H.R.’s mother coached her 14

daughter’s testimony. Accordingly, upon review of the record, we cannot say that Mr. Jamison’s
counsel’s performance was deficient for failing to move for a mistrial based on the conduct of the
H.R.’s mother. Mr. Jamison’s sixth assignment of error is overruled.

Outcome: Mr. Jamison’s assignments of error are overruled. The judgment of the Wayne
County Court of Common Pleas is affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

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