Criminal Law, Pages 414–418

Goolsby v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia, 2011
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Facts:

S.P., a 20-year-old who constantly required an oxygen tank, was sleeping on her couch when defendant broke in and sexually assaulted her. He fled when something startled him but returned 11 days later. Then, he grabbed S.P.'s arms, walked her a couple steps backwards, pushed her onto the couch, and raped her.

A few months later, defendant broke into H.M.M.'s house. She tried to flee, but defendant grabbed her, pulled her away form the front door, and tied her up at knife-point. He then forced her into her bedroom and raped her.

For the first assault on S.P., defendant was charged with attempted rape, burglary, and sexual battery. For the later attack on S.P., he was charged with burglary, rape, and kidnapping with bodily injury. For the incident with H.M.M., he was charged with kidnapping with bodily injury, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, aggravated sodomy, possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, and sexual battery.

Procedural History:

Defendant was convicted on all charges and now appeals the kidnapping charges.

Issue:

Was there sufficient evidence of asportation to sustain defendant's convictions of kidnapping either victim?

Rule:

LexisNexis IconWestLaw LogoGoogle Scholar LogoPage 416

Garza . . . established a four-part test to determine whether movement of the victim constitutes asportation:

  1. the duration of the movement;
  2. whether the movement occurred during the commission of a separate offense;
  3. whether such movement was an inherent part of that separate offense; and
  4. whether the movement itself presented a significant danger to the victim independent of the danger posed by the separate offense.

Explanation:

These are merely factors. Not all four factors must be met to establish asportation.

Reasoning:

    1. The duration of movement of S.P. was minimal—"just a few steps."
    2. Even though it occurred before the rape, it was incidental and in furtherance thereof.
    3. While not an element of rape, it allowed defendant to exercise control over S.P. and was therefore an inherent part of the rape.
    4. Finally, it did not present any significant danger to S.P. as it did not make her more isolated or less likely to be rescued by moving a few steps to the couch.
    This is not the type of movement the kidnapping statute is intended to address. As all of the factors are indicative of this not constituting asportation, that element of kidnapping is not satisfied.
    1. Defendant admittedly did not move H.M.M. far either—only from the front door to the bedroom.
    2. H.M.M. was moved prior too and independently of the rape and aggravated assault. In fact, the aggravated assault was committed in furtherance of the kidnapping.
    3. The movement was also not an inherent part of the rape or aggravated assault.
    4. The movement also created a significant danger to H.M.M. independent of the danger posed by the rape and aggravated assault. It increased defendant's control over her and removed her from the possibility of rescue. Before being moved, she was at the front door where she could have escaped or alerted her neighbors.
    Not all of the factors must be satisfied. Factors 2–4 are here sufficient to establish asportation.

Holding:

The evidence was not sufficient to establish asportation of S.P. but was with H.M.M. Conviction of kidnapping S.P. reversed; conviction of kidnapping H.M.M. affirmed.