An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA02-1141
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Filed: 15 April 2003


         v.                        Rowan County
                                Nos. 99 CRS 05005-06
WILLIE JAMES BLAKE, JR.                        

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 11 April 2002 by Judge Larry G. Ford in Rowan County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 7 April 2003.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Jill F. Cramer, for the State

    William B. Gibson for defendant-appellant.

    MARTIN, Judge.

    Defendant was indicted for three counts of statutory rape and two counts of promoting prostitution of a minor. One count of statutory rape was dismissed prior to trial. A jury found him not guilty of the remaining statutory rape charges but guilty of two counts of promoting prostitution of a minor. Defendant appeals from the judgment entered upon the verdicts.
    The State presented evidence at trial which tended to show the following: On 30 March 1999, M, who was seventeen, and N, who was fourteen, were high school students in Rowan County. M was having problems at home with her father, and decided to run away to her aunt's house in Ruffin, North Carolina. M and N discussed a planto leave after first period at school. E, a fifteen year old friend, decided to join them.
    The girls left school after first period as planned, and walked through the woods toward the interstate highway. They accepted a ride from a man in a white van, and were dropped off at a McDonald's in Salisbury, North Carolina. They started walking from the McDonald's towards the interstate when a man sitting on the front porch of his house called them over. The man, who called himself “Rock,” invited them inside for a drink, and the girls went inside the house. They were soon joined by the defendant, Willie James Blake, Jr. The men offered alcohol and marijuana to the girls, and told them they could help them make some money. However, they told the girls that they first had to help a friend move, and then they would help the girls. The girls agreed to help the two men with the move.
    After they finished moving, the men dropped the girls off at the Volonte Motel where they paid for a room for the girls. The men later returned and brought some clothes for the girls to wear. The girls changed into the clothes, and then the men told them they were taking them to Bill's Truck Stop to make money. Defendant told the girls that they were to walk around the truck stop, and the truckers would signal to them by turning their lights on, and the girls were to go over to the truckers and talk to them. Defendant told the girls to charge the truckers forty to one hundred dollars for oral sex, and to charge over one hundred dollars for anything that involved intercourse.    The men took the girls to the truck stop. Defendant gave M and N condoms, and they took off in different directions. M was approached by an older man who asked her prices, and he paid her forty dollars to perform oral sex on him. A few trucks blinked their lights at N, but she made up excuses and did not perform any sexual favors. Upon their return to the car, M gave defendant the forty dollars she had been given by the truck driver. They then returned to the motel. Defendant, M, and N returned to the truck stop the next day, but neither girl engaged in any acts of prostitution. The girls were picked up by the police the next day.


    Defendant's sole argument on appeal is that the trial court committed plain error by failing to instruct the jury on attempt. Defendant concedes that the evidence was clear that he attempted to promote the prostitution of N. However, because N did not actually engage in any acts of prostitution, defendant contends that he is merely guilty of an attempt to promote prostitution.
    After careful review of the record, briefs and contentions of the parties, we find no error. This Court rejected the same argument made by the defendant in State v. Morris, 87 N.C. App. 499, 361 S.E.2d 414 (1987). In Morris, this Court stated that:
        The purpose of G.S. 14-190.18(a) is the protection of minors. Violation of the statute occurs when a party knowingly, “[e]ntices, forces, encourages, or otherwise facilitates” a minor to engage in acts of prostitution. It is the attempt to corrupt a minor with which this statute is concerned. The statute never states or implies that actual acts of prostitution must be committed by the minor.
Id. at 501, 361 S.E.2d at 416. Defendant concedes in his brief that he attempted to promote prostitution. Additionally, the State presented evidence that defendant provided clothes for the girls; drove them to the truck stop; advised them on how much money to ask for in return for different sex acts; and provided the girls with condoms. Pursuant to this Court's decision in Morris, defendant violated G.S. § 14-190.18 by facilitating and encouraging N to prostitute herself. N need not have actually prostituted herself to sustain the conviction. Id. Accordingly, we conclude the trial court did not commit plain error by failing to instruct the jury on a lesser offense of attempted promotion of prostitution.
    No error.
    Judges McCULLOUGH and CALABRIA concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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