All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 29, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender, and Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Loreto Espinosa, Jr.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Michael Randles and Richard Cawley, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Loreto Espinosa, Jr., was convicted by a Bedford County Circuit Court jury of eighteen counts of aggravated rape of a child, Class A felonies. See T.C.A. § 39-13-531 (2014). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range III, persistent offender to sixty years for each conviction at 100% service and ordered partial consecutive sentences. The court ordered Counts 1 and 18 to run consecutively to each other and Counts 2 through 17 to run concurrently to each other but consecutively to Counts 1 and 18, for an effective 180- year sentence. On appeal, he contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (2) the State failed to make a proper election of the offenses for Counts 2 through 17, and (3) his sentence is excessive. We conclude that insufficient evidence exists relative to Counts 1 through 17, and we reverse the judgments of the trial court, vacate the convictions, and dismiss the charges relative to those counts. Although the trial court failed to require the State to make an election of the offense relative to Count 18, we conclude that the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and affirm the judgment of the trial court.