A 32 year old man who stood trial last summer and was convicted of raping an eight year old boy was denied a motion for a new trial in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday.
Jose Reyes is serving a 32 year prison term. He was accused of raping the boy between November 2012 and March 2013.
The trial was held on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in DeKalb County Criminal Court and it took the jury of six men and six women only half an hour to find Reyes guilty of the crime.
According to prosecutors in the case, Reyes was a trusted friend of the boy and his family prior to this incident and he had been renting a room in the home of the child's aunt. That is where the crime is alleged to have occurred.
Judge David Patterson held a hearing on the motion for a new trial Friday.
Representing Reyes, Assistant District Public Defender Allison Rasbury West argued Friday that her client is entitled to a new trial. In her motion filed with the court, West cited the following factors:
*The evidence introduced at trial was insufficient to convict Mr. Reyes of the offense of rape of a child.
*The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's "Motion to Continue the Trial Date" in order to continue to attempt to locate a defense witness
* The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's motion in limine, requesting that the Defendant's written statement be excluded at trial because it is irrelevant
* The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's motion in limine, requesting that the use of the Child Advocacy Center dog be prohibited. (The dog was allowed in the courtroom during the testimony of the victim to make him feel more at ease)
* The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's motion to suppress the written statement in this case.
*The trial court erred by sentencing Mr. Reyes to 32 years instead of the minimum 25 years in this case.
*The trial court improperly overruled the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment in this case based on a superseding indictment changing the date (s) of offense and therefore denying the defendant sufficient notice of which date(s) he should be prepared to defend against.
*The trial court erred by denying the defendant's motion in limine to exclude any mention of the defendant having sexual relations or watching pornography in the presence of the alleged victim
*The trial court erred by denying the defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal; and
*The trial court erred by considering a victim's statement introduced at the sentencing hearing that included references to HIV, herpes, and gonorrhea, when no evidence of such diseases was presented at trial.
In response to the motion for a new trial, Assistant District Attorney Greg Strong, stated the following:
*Evidence introduced at trial was entirely sufficient to convict the Defendant of Rape of a Child. The jury found the proof sufficient, and the verdict was approved by this court.
*The Court did not err in denying the Defendant's Motion to Continue. At the time of the trial, this case had been open for well over one year, and as such the Defendant had sufficient time, through the use of an investigator, to locate and subpoena all necessary witnesses.
*The Defendant's written statement acknowledged his role in the perpetration of this offense, and was wholly relevant in the trial of this matter. The Court made no error in this ruling.
*The Court made no error in allowing the use of the dog belonging to the Child Advocacy Center. The Court gave a specific instruction to the jury pertaining to the dog, and was clear with both the Defendant and jury that the dog was available for use by any party throughout the trial.
*No error was made as related to the Defendant's statement.
*A sentence of 32 years was appropriate in this case, given the enhancement factors the Court found applicable.
*The Court's denial of the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss was proper. The State superseded the original indictment to include a date range, rather than a specific date, and this in no way prejudiced the Defendant.
*The Court's denial of the Defendant's Motion to Exclude Testimony was proper. The Court made findings in the record to support this ruling, and found that the probative value of this testimony outweighed potential unfair prejudice.
*The Court properly denied the Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal. Viewing the proof at trial in a light most favorable to the State, this ruling was proper.
* The Court made no error in considering statements made at the sentencing of the Defendant.
West is expected to file a notice of appeal on behalf of Reyes.