may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998)
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Michael Antonio Thomas,
Filed May 18, 1999
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 97109495
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda K. Jenny, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Lawrence W. Pry, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414-3230 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
In an appeal from conviction for attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Michael Thomas challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain his conviction. We affirm.
Michael Thomas was charged with attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(d) (1996). The victim, F.R.B., testified that she had agreed to perform oral sex on Thomas in exchange for money; but Thomas threatened her with a weapon and attempted to force her to submit to oral penetration. Thomas admitted he had agreed to pay F.R.B. for oral sex but denied that he threatened or attempted to force her to submit.
A jury found Thomas guilty of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The district court sentenced Thomas to 52-1/2 months, executed. Thomas challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction.
When evaluating the sufficiency of the evidence supporting a conviction, this court's review is limited to whether a jury could reasonably have found the defendant guilty of the charged offense. State v. Davidson, 481 N.W.2d 51, 58 (Minn. 1992). We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and assume the jury believed the state's witnesses, while disbelieving any contrary evidence. State v. McKenzie, 511 N.W.2d 14, 17 (Minn. 1994).
Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is defined as engaging in sexual penetration of another person when the actor is armed with a dangerous weapon "and uses or threatens to use the weapon to cause the complainant to submit." Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(d). F.R.B. testified that, after she entered his car, Thomas held a retractable knife, known as a "box-cutter," to her throat, grabbed her head, and pushed it toward his lap, repeating "get down there." F.R.B. reflexively reached for the weapon, and her finger was cut. Thomas then grabbed her, straddled her, choked her, and ripped her shirt open, but finally ordered her from the car. As Thomas drove away, F.R.B. noted his license plate number, ran to a phone, and called 911.
A conviction can rest on the testimony of a single credible witness. State v. Bliss, 457 N.W.2d 385, 390 (Minn. 1990). Thomas's sole argument on appeal is that F.R.B.'s testimony was not credible. Determination of the weight and credibility of witnesses' testimony, however, is for the jury, not the reviewing court. State v. Bias, 419 N.W.2d 480, 484 (Minn. 1988). Minnesota law specifically provides that, in criminal sexual conduct cases, corroboration of the victim's testimony is not required. Minn. Stat. § 609.347, subd. 1 (1996); State v. Myers, 359 N.W.2d 604, 608 (Minn. 1984); State v. Christopherson, 500 N.W.2d 794, 798 (Minn. App. 1993).
When police apprehended Thomas, F.R.B. identified him as her assailant. F.R.B.'s testimony was corroborated by police observation that, at the time he was apprehended, Thomas's pants were unbuttoned and unzipped and appeared to have dried blood on the knee. Police searched his car and located a retractable box-cutter, of the color and type F.R.B. described, tucked under the front console near the driver's seat. The box-cutter's blade was partially covered with a dried material, which police believed was blood, and blood droplets were found on the passenger's side window. The verdict reflects the jury's determination that F.R.B.'s testimony was credible and the evidence was persuasive. We will not disturb that determination on review.