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State v. Gregson

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

April 27, 2015

State
v.
Jack Gregson

Kent County Superior Court. (K1/12-115A). Associate Justice Brian P. Stern.

For State: Virginia McGinn, Department of Attorney General.

For Defendant: Richard K. Corley, Esq.

Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, and Robinson, JJ. Justice Indeglia did not participate.

OPINION

Page 394

Goldberg, Justice

This case came before the Supreme Court on April 1, 2015, on appeal of the defendant, Jack Gregson (defendant). Following a jury trial in the Superior Court, the defendant was convicted of one count of first-degree sexual assault; one count of second-degree sexual assault; two counts of assault with intent to commit second-degree sexual assault; and two counts of indecent solicitation of a minor.[1] On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial justice committed two errors of law that require this Court to vacate those convictions: (1) the denial of the defendant's motion for a bill of particulars; and (2) the denial of the defendant's motion for a new trial. For the reasons set forth below, we are of the opinion that the trial justice did not err, and we affirm.

Facts and Travel

The testimony at trial disclosed the following facts. In the summer of 2011, fifteen-year-old Grace[2] resided with her mother and little brother in Warwick,

Page 395

Rhode Island. Grace is the granddaughter of defendant. During that summer, defendant saw Grace approximately three times a week, and he was close to her--buying her food, giving her rides, and talking with her. Grace began to confide in defendant about " [d]rama, boyfriend problems, [and] home issues."

The relationship changed, however, and Grace became uncomfortable when defendant started asking her questions about her " G-spot" and whether she had yet to experience an orgasm. Grace testified that, in late September 2011, while defendant was spending a week at Grace's home because her mother was hospitalized, defendant gave her an alcoholic beverage, which made her so sleepy that she went to bed. She testified that the next thing she remembered is waking up to someone moving her leg, rolling her onto her back, and taking her underwear off. She testified that she felt someone's tongue moving around in her vaginal area. Grace then stated that she opened her eyes and saw her grandfather, shirtless. She testified that she felt confused and scared. Then, as defendant began to touch her breasts, she moved back into the position she had been in, prior to being violated, and defendant " got up and walked away." Grace testified that, before leaving her room, defendant stated: " I was trying to teach you something."

" Upset[, s]cared[, and c]onfused[,]" Grace testified that she called her friend, Ryan,[3] and climbed out of her bedroom window and spent the night with him. Grace testified that she did not tell anyone in her family about what happened because she " didn't want to tear [her] family apart and [she] was confused."

In October 2011, defendant persuaded Grace to accompany him to a liquor store. Grace testified that, during that encounter, defendant propositioned her, stating " that he would pay [her] $100 if [she] would let him perform oral sex on [her]." She testified that she refused. The defendant then went into the liquor store and returned with vodka and cranberry juice, a drink that Grace admitted she enjoyed. The defendant then drove Grace to Oakland Beach, where defendant poured Grace two drinks of vodka and ...


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