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Date: 01-11-2019

Case Style:

State of Ohio v. Jesse Glaze

Case Number: L-17-1269

Judge: Christine Mayle

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO SIXTH APPELLATE DISTRICT LUCAS COUNTY

Plaintiff's Attorney: Julia R. Bates, Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney, and Evy M. Jarrett, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Defendant's Attorney: Christopher Clark

Description:



Rape of a child under the age of 13



On July 1, 2017, Jesse Glaze, also known as “Blue,” stayed the night at the
home of his friend, J.B. J.B. and his girlfriend slept in their bedroom. Glaze slept on the
floor in the “front room,” where J.B.’s nine-year-old daughter, M.B., slept on one couch
and J.B.’s girlfriend’s 17-year-old son, T.Q., slept on another.
{¶ 3} M.B. awoke around 5:00 a.m. to find Glaze with his hand down her pants
and his fingers in her vagina. She woke her father, and told him that Glaze “touched her”
and “hurted her.” J.B. attacked Glaze with a crutch, demanded that he leave, then tasered
him as he sat to put his shoes on. Glaze ran out, and J.B. called 9-1-1 to request police
assistance.
{¶ 4} Police quickly found Glaze. He denied engaging in any sexual conduct with
M.B. and consented to providing a DNA sample. Meanwhile, M.B.’s mother took M.B.
to Toledo Hospital where she underwent a sexual assault nurse examination (“SANE”).
{¶ 5} The SANE nurse observed two sets of linear lacerations or abrasions on the
area inside M.B.’s labia. Her vagina and the crotch area of her underwear were swabbed
for DNA and sent to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (“BCI”) for testing. That
testing revealed no foreign DNA in M.B.’s vagina. The DNA of a male was found to be
present on the inside of M.B.’s underwear, but there was not a sufficient amount of DNA
to include or exclude Glaze as the contributor.
{¶ 6} Glaze was charged with one count of rape of a person less than 13 years of
age, a violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b) and (B). The matter was tried to a jury on
3.
October 16 and 17, 2018, and he was found guilty. The trial court classified Glaze a
Tier-III sex offender, and because the victim was less than ten years of age, the court
opted to impose a prison term of life without parole.
{¶ 7} Glaze appealed and assigns the following errors for our review:
First Assignment of Error: The Evidence at Appellant’s Trial Was
Insufficient to Support the Conviction, and Appellant’s Conviction is
Against the Manifest Weight of the Evidence.
Second Assignment of Error: The Sentence of Life Without the
Opportunity of Parole Was Disproportionate to the Underlying Conduct in
this Case, and Violates Appellant’s Substantive Due Process Rights and
Constitutes Cruel and Unusual Punishment as Prohibited by the Eighth
Amendment.
II. Law and Analysis
{¶ 8} In his first assignment of error, Glaze challenges both the sufficiency and
weight of the evidence. He argues that the trial evidence contradicts M.B.’s assertion that
Glaze digitally penetrated her. In his second assignment of error, Glaze challenges his
sentence as disproportionate to the underlying crime, and he argues that his substantive
due process rights were violated and that the sentence constitutes cruel and unusual
punishment. We examine each of Glaze’s assignments of error in turn.

4.
A. Sufficiency and Manifest Weight of the Evidence
{¶ 9} R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b) provides that “[n]o person shall engage in sexual
conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender * * * when * * * [t]he other
person is less than thirteen years of age * * *.” “Sexual conduct” is defined under R.C.
2907.01(A) to include “the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body or any
instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal opening of another.” In his
first assignment of error, Glaze argues that the evidence presented by the state was
insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Glaze engaged in sexual conduct
with M.B. He also argues that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the
evidence.
{¶ 10} M.B. testified at trial that Glaze put his fingers in her vagina. Additionally,
the SANE nurse testified that she observed injury to the inside of M.B.’s vagina. While
Glaze acknowledges both M.B. and the SANE nurse’s testimony, he contends that the
evidence contradicts M.B.’s assertion of digital penetration and calls into question her
credibility. He suggests that when M.B. told her father that Glaze “touched her” and
“hurted her,” J.B. jumped to the conclusion that Glaze had inserted his fingers into
M.B.’s vagina. He then reported to the 9-1-1 operator that Glaze had “fingered” M.B.,
and M.B. merely repeated this characterization to the SANE nurse after hearing it from
her father.
{¶ 11} Glaze also argues that there was no evidence presented to establish what
caused M.B.’s vaginal injuries, and he emphasizes that there was no DNA evidence that
5.
he digitally penetrated her. He insists that it “defies reason” that he would sexually
assault M.B. while 17-year-old T.Q. slept just ten feet away, and he maintains that his
conduct in voluntarily providing a statement to police and consenting to a DNA sample is
inconsistent with his having committed this crime.
{¶ 12} Whether there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction is a question of
law. State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386, 678 N.E.2d 541 (1997). In reviewing a
challenge to the sufficiency of evidence, “[t]he 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.”
(Internal citations omitted.) State v. Smith, 80 Ohio St.3d 89, 113, 684 N.E.2d 668
(1997). In making that determination, the appellate court will not weigh the evidence or
assess the credibility of the witnesses. State v. Walker, 55 Ohio St.2d 208, 212, 378
N.E.2d 1049 (1978).
M.B. testified at trial that Glaze put his fingers in her vagina:
Q: When you say you woke up and you saw Blue in your pants,
what does that mean?
A: He was in my vagina.
Q: He was in your vagina. What was he doing or? [sic]
A: He was touching me.
Q: He was touching you? What was he touching you with?
A: With his fingers.
6.
* * *
Q: And when he touched you there, was it inside or outside your
body?
A: Inside.
But immediately after this, M.B. said that it did not “feel” like Glaze was touching her
“on the inside.” She testified:
Q: How do you know it was inside?
A: Because I saw it.
Q: You saw it. Did it feel like it was on the inside?
A: No.
The state then sought clarification from M.B. on this point, and M.B. reiterated that Glaze
put his fingers inside her vagina:
Q: But you know that he touched on the inside of your body?
[Defense counsel]: Objection.
A: Yeah.
The court: Overruled.
Q: I’m sorry, [M.B.], you said that you know he touched on the
inside of your body?
A: Yeah.
{¶ 13} Because under the facts of this case the state was required to prove the
“insertion” of Glaze’s fingers into M.B.’s “vaginal or anal opening,” Glaze focuses on
7.
M.B.’s testimony that she could not feel Glaze’s fingers on the inside of her body. But
M.B. nevertheless insisted that Glaze’s fingers were inside her, and additional evidence
was presented that was consistent with M.B.’s testimony.
{¶ 14} First, J.B. testified that his daughter told him that Glaze touched her and it
hurt. But more importantly, the SANE nurse testified not only that M.B. told her that
Glaze “fingered” her, but also that she observed several lacerations to M.B.’s vaginal
area. Specifically, the SANE nurse said that she saw three linear lacerations on the inside
of M.B.’s labia at the one o’clock to five o’clock positions and two linear lacerations at
the 11 o’clock to nine o’clock positions. The nurse was asked: “So this was inside of her
body?” and she responded: “Correct.” She repeated this on redirect:
Q: [Y]ou were able to see numerous injuries in this child’s vagina?
A: That’s correct.
Q: Inside of her body?
A: Correct.
{¶ 15} In considering Glaze’s sufficiency claim, we must determine whether the
state adduced evidence of his guilt as to each element of the crime without taking into
consideration matters of credibility. State v. White, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 101576,
2015-Ohio-2387, ¶ 15. We recognized in State v. Schuster, 6th Dist. Lucas No.
L-05-1365, 2007-Ohio-3463, ¶ 67, that “a number of appellate courts, including this
court, have held that penetration of the labia is sufficient to prove penetration of the
vagina for the purpose of satisfying R.C. 2907.02.”
8.
{¶ 16} Here, the state presented (1) M.B.’s own testimony that Glaze touched her
with his fingers on the inside of her body; (2) J.B.’s testimony that M.B. told her dad that
Glaze touched her and it hurt; (3) the SANE nurse’s testimony that M.B. told her that
Glaze “fingered” her; and (4) the SANE nurse’s testimony that she observed lacerations
on the inside of M.B.’s labia. We find that if believed, this evidence was sufficient to
prove that Glaze engaged in sexual conduct with M.B.
{¶ 17} Glaze points out that (1) the SANE nurse conceded that she could not
accurately time M.B.’s injuries or say how they were caused; (2) the police did not swab
Glaze’s fingers for DNA; (3) there was no male DNA found in M.B.’s vagina; (4) while
male DNA was found in M.B.’s underwear, the BCI forensic scientist conceded that
DNA could have been deposited in any number of ways, including by simply folding the
underwear; and (5) it defies reason that Glaze would sexually assault M.B. with T.Q.
sleeping so close by. These points all go not to the sufficiency of the evidence, but to its
weight.
{¶ 18} When reviewing a claim that a verdict is against the manifest weight of the
evidence, the appellate court must weigh the evidence and all reasonable inferences,
consider the credibility of witnesses, and determine whether the jury clearly lost its way
in resolving evidentiary conflicts so as to create such a manifest miscarriage of justice
that the conviction must be reversed and a new trial ordered. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d
at 387, 678 N.E.2d 541. We do not view the evidence in a light most favorable to the
state. “Instead, we sit as a ‘thirteenth juror’ and scrutinize ‘the factfinder’s resolution of
9.
the conflicting testimony.’” State v. Robinson, 6th Dist. Lucas No. L-10-1369, 2012
Ohio-6068, ¶ 15, citing Thompkins at 388. Reversal on manifest weight grounds is
reserved for “the exceptional case in which the evidence weighs heavily against the
conviction.” Thompkins at 387, quoting State v. Martin, 20 Ohio App.3d 172, 175, 485
N.E.2d 717 (1st Dist.1983).
{¶ 19} It is true that the SANE nurse could not say how or when M.B.’s injuries
occurred, however, she testified that M.B.’s injuries were consistent with the history she
provided. And while the police did not swab Glaze’s fingers, testimony was presented
that it was not their practice to do this.
{¶ 20} As to the DNA evidence—or lack thereof—the BCI scientist stated that it
is a lot less likely to find male DNA inside the vagina when there has been no exchange
of bodily fluids. He testified that DNA persists longer on clothing than it does in a body
cavity because the environment in a body cavity, such as the vagina, is constantly
changing. He explained: “Any low level foreign DNA would be essentially covered up
by the large amount of DNA that’s being contributed by that individual.” And while
Glaze could not be included or excluded as the contributor of the DNA found in M.B.’s
underwear, he also could not be excluded as having digitally penetrated M.B.
{¶ 21} Although under a manifest-weight standard we consider the credibility of
witnesses, we must nonetheless extend special deference to the jury’s credibility
determinations given that it is the jury who has the benefit of seeing the witnesses testify,
observing their facial expressions and body language, hearing their voice inflections, and
10.
discerning qualities such as hesitancy, equivocation, and candor. State v. Fell, 6th Dist.
Lucas No. L-10-1162, 2012-Ohio-616, ¶ 14. Here, Glaze cross-examined the state’s
witnesses and skillfully challenged its evidence, but the jury nonetheless believed M.B.
We cannot say that it clearly lost its way in resolving evidentiary conflicts in favor of the
state or that this is the exceptional case weighing heavily against the conviction.
{¶ 22} Accordingly, we find Glaze’s first assignment of error not well-taken.
B. Glaze’s Sentence
{¶ 23} In his second assignment of error, Glaze argues that under the facts of this
case, his sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole is disproportionate to
the conduct involved, violates his substantive due process rights, and constitutes cruel
and unusual punishment. The state counters that Glaze waived this argument by not
raising it in the trial court. It also argues that life without parole for the rape of a child is
not grossly disproportionate to the crime and no categorical restriction prohibits the
imposition of a sentence of life without parole for the rape of a child under ten.
{¶ 24} R.C. 2907.02(B) provides that “if the victim under division (A)(1)(b) of
this section is less than ten years of age, in lieu of sentencing the offender to a prison
term or term of life imprisonment pursuant to section 2971.03 of the Revised Code, the
court may impose upon the offender a term of life without parole.” Because Glaze argues
that this statute is unconstitutional as applied to his particular situation, he “bears the
burden of presenting clear and convincing evidence of a presently existing state of facts
11.
that make the statutes unconstitutional and void when applied to those facts.” (Citations
omitted.) State v. Warren, 118 Ohio St.3d 200, 2008-Ohio-2011, 887 N.E.2d 1145, ¶ 22.
{¶ 25} The Supreme Court of Ohio has recognized that “‘[o]utside the death
penalty context, the Eighth Amendment does not require strict proportionality between
crime and sentence but forbids only extreme sentences that are grossly disproportionate
to the crime.’” Id. at ¶ 25, quoting Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957, 1001, 111 S.Ct.
2680, 115 L.Ed.2d 836 (1991). In Warren, the Ohio Supreme Court refused to say that a
sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is grossly disproportionate
to the crime of rape of a child under the age of ten. Id.
{¶ 26} Other Ohio courts have held similarly. In State v. Driscoll, 2d Dist. Clark
No. 2008 CA 93, 2009-Ohio-6134, ¶ 29, the court held that “[defendant’s] sentence of
life without parole for raping [a] four year old * * * in violation to R.C.
2907.02(A)(1)(b), does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, because it is not
disproportionate or shocking to the moral sense of the community, in view of the heinous
nature of the crime.” (Internal quotations omitted.) The court in State v. Gladding, 66
Ohio App.3d 502, 513, 585 N.E.2d 838 (11th Dist.1990), similarly concluded that
“considering the heinousness of the crime of raping a nine-year-old child, it cannot be
said that appellant’s sentence was disproportionate or shocking to the moral sense of the
community.”
Like the defendants in Warren, Driscoll, and Gladding, Glaze was convicted of
raping a child under the age of ten. And like those courts, we find that Glaze has failed to
12.
meet his burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence that his sentence of life
in prison without the possibility of parole was disproportionate to the conduct involved,
violates his substantive due process rights, or constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
{¶ 27} We find Glaze’s second assignment of error not well-taken.

Outcome: Sufficient evidence of sexual conduct was presented by the state to support
Glaze’s conviction of rape of a child under the age of 13. M.B. repeatedly testified that Glaze’s fingers were inside her vagina, she reported to her father that Glaze touched her and it hurt, she told the SANE nurse that Glaze “fingered” her, and the SANE nurse observed two sets of lacerations on the inside of M.B.’s labia.

{¶ 29} Glaze’s conviction was not against the manifest weight of the evidence
despite the fact that M.B. testified that it did not “feel” like Glaze’s fingers were “on the inside” of her body, his DNA was not identified in swabs taken during M.B.’s SANE examination, and the SANE nurse could not say when or how the lacerations to M.B.’s labia occurred. The jury made credibility determinations in favor of the state, and we do not find that it lost its way in doing so.

{¶ 30} Finally, consistent with other Ohio courts, we find that Glaze’s sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole was not disproportionate to the conduct involved, did not violate his substantive due process rights, and did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

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