may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Jason Dewayne Schwartz,
Filed October 14, 1997
Kandiyohi County District Court
File No. KX-96-521
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Patricia Rettler, Special Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Appellant Jason Dewayne Schwartz challenges his convictions for two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, arguing that there was insufficient evidence. We affirm.
That night, S.E.'s parents took her to an emergency room and contacted the sheriff's department. S.E. talked to Deputy Doug Magnuson, and was examined by Dr. Judith Snook, a pediatrician trained in child sexual abuse. In response to Dr. Snook's questions, S.E. explained through words, gesturing with her own body, and using pictures that Schwartz had fondled S.E.'s upper genital/clitoral area and that Schwartz had forced S.E. to stroke his penis. A few days later, Detective Tony Cruze conducted a taped interview with S.E., who again stated that Schwartz "picks her butt," which she demonstrated by fondling her genitals.
Schwartz was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 609.343, subd. 1 (a) (1994), which is sexual conduct when the complainant is under 13 years of age and the actor is more than 36 months older than the complainant. The jury found Schwartz guilty of both counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. This appeal followed.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
Schwartz asserts that the state's evidence was insufficient to support his convictions because there was inadequate corroboration of S.E.'s testimony. Schwartz especially emphasizes the lack of medical evidence--Dr. Snook testified that there was no genital bruising and that S.E.'s hymen was intact--to corroborate S.E.'s claims.
These arguments are meritless. Minnesota case law establishes that convictions may rest upon the testimony of a single credible witness. State v. Bliss, 457 N.W.2d 385, 390 (Minn. 1990). The jury is in the best position to determine the credibility and weight given to a witness's testimony. State v. Daniels, 361 N.W.2d 819, 826 (Minn. 1985). More specifically, statutory law dictates that the testimony of a criminal sexual conduct complainant need not be corroborated. See Minn. Stat. § 609.347, subd. 1 (1996).
S.E.'s testimony was, in fact, corroborated by the testimony of S.E.'s mother, Deputy Magnuson, Dr. Snook, and Detective Cruze. Given that the alleged sexual conduct did not include any type of penetration or other type of injury-producing force, Schwartz's assertion based on the lack of medical corroboration, is baseless.
Dated: October 8, 1997
Judge Roland C. Amundson