Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Tournier

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 19, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DALE ROBERT TOURNIER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Christopher C. Foy, Judge.

         Dale Robert Tournier appeals his convictions for second degree sexual abuse of a child under the age of twelve.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Brenda J. Gohr, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Dale Robert Tournier's daughter had an older neighborhood friend who often played at her home. One evening, the friend told her grandmother that Tournier touched her in her genital and anal area.

         The State charged Tournier with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a child under the age of twelve. See Iowa Code §§ 709.1; 709.3(b) (2016). At a bench trial, the child, who was in first grade, testified to Tournier's sex acts. Following trial, the district court found Tournier guilty of one count involving digital penetration of the child's vagina and not guilty of the other count charging a different type of sex act.

         Tournier moved for a new trial on the ground the finding of guilt was "contrary to the evidence." Alternatively, he asked the court to "vacate the judgment, . . . take additional testimony, and amend its findings of fact." The district court denied Tournier's new trial motion and his request to vacate the judgment. The court imposed judgment and sentence, including a fee for room and board at the county jail.

         On appeal, Tournier argues (1) the district court abused its discretion in declining to grant him a new trial and in refusing to set aside the finding of guilt and receive further testimony and (2) the district court erred in imposing the jail fee without first determining the amount of the fee.

         I. New Trial Motion/Vacating of Judgment

         In support of his new trial motion, Tournier argued the child's testimony was "clearly inconsistent with statements made prior to trial." In ruling on the motion, the district court acknowledged that "certain aspects of [the child's] trial testimony" did not "match precisely with . . . statements she had made to other people involved." But, in the court's view, "[a]ny distinctions between her trial testimony and what she had told other people" were "pretty much details" that could "certainly be . . . expected when . . . a child that age is being asked to recount events that took place . . . at least . . . ten months . . . after the fact." The court noted that the child's "initial report was made . . . immediately upon her return to her grandparents' home that evening." The court found the child was "consistent about . . . the digital or the finger and hand contact . . . Mr. Tournier had with her vagina."

         Conversely, the court found "the statements and the conduct of . . . Mr. Tournier . . . were also . . . [a] strong indicator of guilt." The court explained, "some of . . . the comments that Mr. Tournier had made to others about this . . . indicated a knowledge of what had actually taken place that . . . he would not have had if the events hadn't happened."

         The court also assessed the credibility of other witnesses, expressing a lack of conviction that Tournier's young daughter "would have necessarily been old enough to really understand or . . . alert others . . . to what she was observing." And the court explained "there was a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.