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State v. Whitmire

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 20, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CEDRIC R. WHITMIRE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Timothy O'Grady, Judge.

         Cedric Whitmire appeals his convictions for sexual abuse in the third degree, pimping, willful injury causing bodily injury, domestic abuse assault by strangulation causing bodily injury, and possession of marijuana.

          Katherine Kaminsky Murphy of Kate Murphy Law, PLC, Glenwood, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel Mullins, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Mahan, S.J. [*]

          MAHAN, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Cedric Whitmire appeals his convictions for sexual abuse in the third degree, pimping, willful injury causing bodily injury, domestic abuse assault by strangulation causing bodily injury, and possession of marijuana. Upon our review, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         From the evidence presented at trial, the jury could have found the following. M.C. lived with her "boyfriend," Cedric Whitmire. M.C. worked as a prostitute, and Whitmire was her pimp. They posted ads on the internet, and clients ("johns") would arrange to meet M.C. for "dates."[1] M.C. "had sex with johns for money and then [she] would give all [the] money to [Whitmire]."

         On November 7, 2016, M.C. told Whitmire she "didn't want to do it anymore." Whitmire got upset and punched her in the face. M.C. was "bleeding everywhere." She asked Whitmire to take her to the hospital because she knew her nose was broken, but Whitmire refused and "hit [her] harder." M.C. used a blanket to try to stop the bleeding and laid down on the bed and "kind of passed out a little bit." She woke up to Whitmire on top of her, "having anal sex with [her]." He said she "had been a bad girl" and needed to be punished. M.C. told him to stop, but he refused.

         When he finished, Whitmire took M.C.'s phone and told her, "[D]on't go anywhere, you're locked in." Whitmire left to go to work at his job at a roofing company. M.C. got up and "cleaned the blood up"; "the blood was everywhere." When Whitmire came home, "he was mad" because he had lost money at the casino, and he told M.C. she "had to work." M.C. "didn't want to," and they "got into another fight."

         Eventually, they arranged for M.C. to meet with Greg Jones. Because M.C.'s face "was a mess," Whitmire came up with the idea to have the contact take place at his apartment. Whitmire gave M.C. tattoo-covering makeup to apply to her face to cover the bruises. Jones recalled M.C. appeared to have bruises under her eyes and a swollen nose; M.C. told him she had been in a car accident. Jones and M.C. had sex, and he left money on the counter before leaving. Whitmire came back, took the money, and told M.C. "good job." Then M.C. showered and they "went and got dope" at a friend's house.[2] When M.C. went inside the house to get drugs, people made comments about her face looking "like that guy off of Goonies." She "lied to them and said [she] was in a car accident" because she "didn't want them to go out to the car and beat [Whitmire] up."

         Whitmire and M.C. had sex at some point the next day. M.C. told him to stop, and Whitmire "got really angry." He called her a "meth whore," said she had "sex with animals," and told her "no man will ever want [her]." Whitmire kicked her while she was on the ground crying, and he "was just laughing."

         Later, they got into another fight because M.C. "wanted to leave." Whitmire hit her in the face, choked her, and kicked her while she was on the ground. When M.C. grabbed her stuff and piled it up, Whitmire grabbed her by the throat so hard she "could not breathe." M.C. was "really, really scared" and "didn't know if [she] was gonna get out of there alive." She started screaming, and Whitmire told her to take a shower to "get all those demons off you." Whitmire told M.C. to "hurry up and get ready" because she "had to go on a call at the Super 8 motel." M.C. tried "to talk him out of it" because she "didn't want to go." Whitmire grabbed her by the hair and told her, "You're gonna make this money," "you're gonna do this call."

         Whitmire drove M.C. to the Super 8, gave her a condom, and said he would "be out here waiting." M.C. walked in and "acted like [she] was gonna walk up the stairs." Then she went to the hotel clerk and asked if she could call the police. M.C. called 911 and her grandmother. An ambulance took her to the hospital. She said Whitmire had assaulted her. Initially, M.C. denied that she had been sexually assaulted, but then she realized that even though she loved and cared about Whitmire, she "said no" and she "didn't want to have sex with him."

         M.C. spent "four, maybe five" days in the hospital after being admitted on November 10. Upon her admittance, officers observed she was "scared," "crying," "very fearful, shaken," and in "a lot of physical pain." She had injuries to her ribs, back, face, shoulder, neck, leg, and arms. Her nose was broken. Seminal fluid was found near her rectum and in her vagina.

         Police found M.C.'s phone in Whitmire's vehicle. The phone records showed arrangements for meetings and sexually-explicit texts. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found inside his apartment. The apartment also contained blood splattered on the walls and floor, bloody paper towels in the trash, and a bloody towel in a hamper.

         Whitmire told police M.C. had lived with him for "about . . . two weeks," and he was "trying to help her out, get her out of the prostitution/drug game." Whitmire said the Super 8 arrangement was a "ruse" to get M.C. out of the apartment. He said M.C.'s money "was her money," but she gave him "a couple bucks here or there from the prostitution." Whitmire ...


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