State v. White
Given the defendant's concededly superior strength and size, the court was entitled to find credible the complainant's testimony that she was overpowered and sexually assaulted even though she was not visibly injured. Following a court trial, Marlon White was found guilty of sexually assaulting a fellow member of the U.S. Army stationed in Waterbury, in violation of C.G.S. §53a-70(a)(1) and §53a-73a(a)(2). The defendant appealed principally challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to establish that he forcibly engaged in sexual intercourse with the complainant. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendant maintained that there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction of sexual assault in the fourth degree pursuant to C.G.S. §53a-73a(a)(2) and unsuccessfully attacked the court's credibility assessment. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the guilty finding, the court reasonably could have found that the state proved each required element of C.G.S. §53a-73a(a)(2). The complainant testified that the defendant took hold of her around the waist with both arms as she attempted to exit the locker room. She threatened to tell her supervisor and told him to let her go. She testified that she unsuccessfully struggled to get away but was physically unable to prevent the defendant from sexually assaulting her. The complainant's testimony was sufficient for the court reasonably to conclude that the complainant did not consent to having sexual contact with the defendant. For the conviction of sexual assault in the first degree under C.G.S. §53a-70(a)(1), the court reasonably could have found that the evidence established beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant compelled the complainant to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force. The defendant relied on testimony that there were no buttons missing from the complainant's pants or rips in her clothing, that she kept items in her hands and she displayed no physical injuries. However, given the defendant's concededly superior strength and size, the court was entitled to find credible the complainant's testimony that she was overpowered and sexually assaulted even though she was not visibly injured. Further, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the complainant's confidential medical records and by prohibiting the defendant from questioning the complainant about prior sexual activity under a rape shield statute exception, C.G.S. §54-86f.