STATE OF TENNESSEE V. JOSE L. HIDALGO - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 26, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

C. Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender; and Melissa Harrison (at trial), Mary Kathryn Harcombe (at trial), and Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Jose L. Hidalgo.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Kristen E. Menke and Katrin N. Miller, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): THOMAS

The Defendant, Jose L. Hidalgo, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, one count of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated child abuse, and one count of aggravated child neglect. Thereafter, the aggravated child neglect conviction was merged with the aggravated child abuse conviction. The Defendant received sentences of four years for each count of sexual battery by an authority figure, twenty years for the aggravated rape conviction, and ten years for the aggravated child abuse conviction. The trial court ordered each of the four-year sentences to run concurrently with one another but consecutive to the remaining sentences of twenty and ten years, which were likewise to be served consecutively, resulting in a total effective sentence of thirty-four years. On appeal, the Defendant raises the following issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court erred by allowing the victim’s mother to testify in rebuttal as to when the victim reported the sexual abuse to her; (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to support his aggravated child neglect conviction; and (3) whether partial consecutive sentences were appropriate. Following our review, we affirm the jury’s verdicts of guilt for each offense and the imposition of consecutive sentencing. However, we remand for entry of corrected judgment of conviction forms to properly reflect the counts as numbered in the amended indictment and the merger of the aggravated child neglect conviction into the aggravated child abuse conviction. The judgments are affirmed in part and vacated in part, and this case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

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