Appeal from the Circuit Court of Franklin County Appellant. Honorable David B. Tobben
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J.
Before Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J., Clifford H. Ahrens, J. and Lawrence E. Mooney, J.
A.B. (Appellant) appeals from the trial court's judgment entered pursuant to a jury verdict committing him to secure confinement in the custody of the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) as a sexually violent predator (SVP). We affirm.
Factual and Procedural Background
Appellant's Criminal Behavior
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the following facts were adduced at trial.
Appellant has six known molestation victims: E.D., Appellant's niece, at 4-5 years old; C.B., Appellant's niece and sister to E.D., from when she was a young child until age 11-12, and again at age 16; M.D., Appellant's sister-in-law, at 15-16; M.R., Appellant's niece and M.D.'s daughter, at age 15; J.C., Appellant's granddaughter, at age 8-9; and K.R., Appellant's great-niece and M.D.'s granddaughter, at age 6.
E.D. recalled that when she was 4 or 5 years old, she was sleeping in her bed when Appellant came into her room, took her from her bed into his room, where he laid her on the bed, put her hand on his "private area," and called her by his wife's name.
E.D. never told anyone until around the time of this case because she was ashamed, and was trying to block it out.
At the time of the deposition, C.B. was 60 years old. C.B. stated that when she was a young child, her exact age she cannot recall, she and Appellant were riding in the backseat of a car which her father was driving. C.B. was sleeping in Appellant's lap when she awoke to him fondling her vaginal area while he was having a conversation with her father. C.B. said that this same sort of behavior on the part of Appellant, his fondling her vaginal area, usually waking her from sleep, went on for a period of time until she was 11 or 12. Usually no one else but the two of them were present when Appellant molested her, except for one other occasion she remembered, when she was watching television at Appellant's house, again sitting in his lap, and Appellant began fondling her. Appellant's wife was home at the time, cleaning, when she walked into the room, saw what Appellant was doing, and said, "What do you think you are doing?"
C.B. stated that when she was about 10, 11 or 12 years old, she and her three sisters had spent the night at Appellant's house when Appellant came into her room to wake her up for school while fondling her vagina. At that point she mustered the courage to confront Appellant about the touching because she became concerned that he would try to do it to her three sisters as well. She told him that if he touched her sisters, she would kill him. Appellant laughed and told her she was not going to say anything. She then told him that if he touched her sisters, she would "show" him.
After this exchange, Appellant stopped molesting C.B. until she was 15 or 16, when Appellant asked her if she could move into his family's house and help his wife take care of their five children at night. C.B. agreed, she said, because she loved her aunt and cousins and felt that Appellant was no longer a threat to her after she had confronted him. Appellant built a special bedroom in the garage for C.B., which surprised her because she assumed she would be sharing a room with someone, because Appellant, his wife, their five children and several other people were staying at the house. One night, recounted C.B., Appellant came into her bedroom as she pretended to be asleep. Appellant began feeling her legs and moving up to her stomach. C.B. opened her eyes and asked him what he was doing. Then C.B. heard Appellant's wife yelling, "Adrian, what are you doing?" C.B. told Appellant that he had better get out of there, and yelled, "He's not doing nothing" to Appellant's wife. Appellant then left her bedroom.
C.B. never told anyone about the molestation except at age 12 or 13, she told her uncle B.B., who is Appellant's brother. C.B. recounted that nothing happened as a result of her confiding in her uncle, ...