This opinion will be unpublished and may
not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:† K.G.H., Child.
Todd County District Court
File No. JX9850365
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103 (for respondent state)
Gaylord A. Saetre, Todd County Attorney, Jane M. Gustafson, Assistant County Attorney, 212 Second Avenue South, Long Prairie, MN 56347 (for respondent county)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Lawrence Hammerling, Deputy State Public Defender 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant K.G.H.)
††††††††††† Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
The district court adjudicated K.G.H. delinquent for first-degree criminal sexual conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. ß 609.342, subds. 1(a), (g) (1994).† K.G.H. challenges the sufficiency of the complainantís uncorroborated testimony to support the adjudication.† The detailed, positive, and consistent evidence supports the adjudication, and we affirm.
††††††††††† The juvenile delinquency petition against K.G.H. stemmed from a sexual-misconduct investigation directed at his younger brother, B.H.† During a police interview, B.H. told the investigator that his brother, K.G.H., had sexual contact with him approximately four years earlier when B.H. was 8 and K.G.H. was 13.† After further investigation, the state filed a juvenile-delinquency petition alleging that K.G.H. had committed criminal sexual conduct.† K.G.H. denied the conduct.†
††††††††††† At the adjudicatory hearing, B.H. testified that the sexual contact occurred in the basement family room when he and K.G.H. were playing with cars.† He said that K.G.H. took off B.H.ís clothes and his own clothes, touched his penis to B.H.ís, and attempted to put his penis in B.H.ís rectum.† The state also introduced B.H.ís videotape as evidence.† B.H.ís testimony about the sexual touching was consistent with the videotaped interview.† B.H. testified that he had not told anyone about the incident earlier because he was afraid K.G.H. would hurt him and he did not want to get K.G.H. in trouble.† K.G.H. testified at the hearing and denied the incident.
††††††††††† The district court issued an order and memorandum setting forth specific findings and conclusions that included an explanation of its credibility assessments.† The court adjudicated K.G.H. delinquent for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.† K.G.H. appeals, contending that B.H.ís uncorroborated testimony is insufficient to support the adjudication.†
††††††††††† The state must prove the truth of delinquency petitions beyond a reasonable doubt.† In re Welfare of S.W.T., 277 N.W.2d 507, 514 (Minn. 1979) (citing In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 90 S. Ct. 1068 (1970)).† When an adjudicated delinquent challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support adjudication, we review whether the record and any legitimate inferences drawn from it reasonably permit the district courtís finding.† In re Welfare of S.A.M., 570 N.W.2d 162, 167 (Minn. App. 1997).† The credibility of witness testimony and the weight given to the evidence are issues for the district courtís determination.† Id.
††††††††††† In a prosecution for criminal sexual conduct, the state is not required to produce evidence to corroborate a complainantís testimony in all circumstances.† Minn. Stat. ß 609.347, subd. 1 (1994); Dale v. State, 535 N.W.2d 619, 624 (Minn. 1995).† Corroboration of a childís allegation of sexual abuse is required only if the evidence otherwise adduced is insufficient to sustain a finding of guilt.† State v. Myers, 359 N.W.2d 604, 608 (Minn. 1984).† This court has found uncorroborated testimony by a complainant sufficient to support a conviction when the testimony ďwhile not particularly detailed, was positive and relatively consistent.Ē† Marshall v. State, 395 N.W.2d 362, 365 (Minn. App. 1986), review denied (Minn. Dec. 17, 1986).†
††††††††††† We conclude that B.H.ís testimony was sufficient to support the courtís finding that K.G.H. committed criminal sexual conduct.† B.H.ís description of the sexual-touching incident was detailed, positive, and consistent.† B.H.ís testimony was unequivocal, and the court was entitled to believe his testimony and disbelieve K.G.H.ís account.† Marshall, 395 N.W.2d at 366.†
K.G.H. argues the testimony was unreliable because B.H. did not tell anyone about the incident until years later and because B.H. only disclosed the incident when he himself was being investigated on charges of criminal sexual conduct.† The district court specifically considered and rejected both of these arguments.† The court concluded that B.H. reasonably believed that he would be hurt if he told anyone and that B.H. did not want to get K.G.H. in trouble.
The issues raised in this appeal are essentially credibility issues.† The district court carefully explained its credibility assessments in resolving the disputed testimony, and we do not retry credibility determinations.† See In re Welfare of S.A.M., 570 N.W.2d at 167 (appellate courts defer to district court in credibility determinations in juvenile proceedings).† The evidence supports the district courtís adjudication of delinquency for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.†