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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 24, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David L. Raybin, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Joe H. Byrd, Jr., Jackson, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Michael Presson.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; Rolf G.S. Hazlehurst, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Michael Presson, of ten counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery, one count of aggravated sexual battery, and eleven counts of rape of a child. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of thirty-five years of confinement. On direct appeal from his convictions, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) the trial court erred when it refused to admit into evidence the medical record for one of the victims; (3) the trial court violated Tennessee Rule of Evidence 615 by allowing the State’s designated witness to be present during the victims’ testimony, without requiring the designated witness to testify first; (4) the State improperly used an exhibit and commented on a jury questionnaire during closing arguments, violating the Defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial; (5) the trial court improperly instructed the jury as to the mens rea elements of the crimes; (6) the trial court erred when it imposed consecutive sentences; and (7) the trial court erred when it placed the victim’s medical records under seal and denied the Defendant the opportunity to review the records. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.