Corruption of a Minor Ohio

In State v. Lewis (July 21, 2000), Clark App. No. 99-CA-0079, 2000 Ohio App, the defendant was charged with corruption of a minor. The victim and eyewitnesses testified that they were fearful of the defendant because he had threatened them. The defendant denied engaging in sexual conduct with the victim. He also denied making any threats. On cross examination, the prosecutor asked the defendant whether he ever had pulled his pants down and placed his buttocks on the face of one witness. The defendant testified that he did not recall such an incident and that he probably would remember if it had occurred. Over the defendant's objection, the trial court allowed the State to introduce a previously undisclosed videotape as rebuttal evidence to corroborate the witness's claim that the defendant had engaged in intimidation. the tape depicted the defendant pulling down his pants and placing his exposed buttocks on the witness's face. Upon review, the Court noted that Crim.R. 16(B)(1)(c) obligated the State to turn over tangible objects material to the preparation of the defense or intended to be introduced by the prosecution as evidence or used in cross examination. Id., citing State v. Haddix (1994), 93 Ohio App.3d 470, 638 N.E.2d 1096. While opining that Crim.R. 16(B)(1)(c) did not apply to rebuttal evidence, the Court noted that evidence admissible in the prosecution's case-in-chief or used for cross examination of a defendant could not be reserved for rebuttal to avoid the rule. Because the videotape could have been used on cross examination to impeach the defendant's own testimony, the Court held that it was subject to disclosure under Crim.R. 16(B)(1)(c). The Court also held that the State's failure to disclose the tape violated the rule.