An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA03-739


Filed: 4 May 2004


         v.                        Gaston County
                                Nos. 01 CRS 7689-90,
JOSEPH MICHAEL GRIFFITH                    7705-07, 7137, 7669
                                    7672, 7674-75,
                                    7685-86, 7697-7700

    Appeal by defendant from judgments dated 12 November 2002 by Judge Jesse B. Caldwell, III in Superior Court, Gaston County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 19 April 2004.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Chris Z. Sinha, for the State.

    J. Clark Fischer for defendant-appellant.

    McGEE, Judge.

    Defendant was charged with numerous sex offenses against a thirteen-year-old male and a thirteen-year-old female. The State's evidence tends to show that defendant confessed to anally penetrating the male victim on two occasions, to receiving fellatio from the male victim, to holding his wife down while defendant and the male victim simultaneously vaginally penetrated her, to holding his wife down while the male victim performed cunnilingus on the wife "in apology" for raping her, to observing the male victim engage in anal intercourse with his son, and to showing the male victim how to navigate the Internet to look at teen pornography. Defendant also confessed to getting the female victim to pull her pants down, by threatening to tell the victim's mother about her boyfriend if she would not perform sexual favors for him. He further confessed to performing cunnilingus on the female victim, to smearing Vaseline on her private parts to facilitate intercourse, and to giving her aspirin and telling her it was Trazadone, in an effort to "stick it in her and she wouldn't know until it started to hurt." He admitted that he refused to allow the female victim to leave his home for fear the victim's mother would realize something was wrong.
    The two minor victims gave statements to investigating officers. The male victim's two statements were in accord with defendant's confession. The male victim knew defendant as "White Boy," which was also defendant's Internet screen name. The male victim told the officers that the molestation began when defendant made him perform cunnilingus on and have vaginal intercourse with defendant's wife. The male victim stated that defendant then had anal intercourse with him, and despite his telling defendant that "it was hurting," defendant did not stop. Instead, defendant put a towel over the male victim's mouth. The male victim also recounted having anal sex with defendant's son at the request and threat of defendant. In his statement, the male victim told the investigating officers that there "were seven or eight times that it happened," and in each instance it "happened pretty much the same way."
    When the female victim admitted that defendant had also hadanal intercourse with her, the male victim decided to tell his mother, who then told the female victim's mother. The male victim told officers that he continued to return to defendant's residence because of threats defendant made against people in the male victim's family.
    The female victim's two statements detailed her attendance at a party held at defendant's residence on 5 February 2001. The female victim also knew defendant and referred to him as "White Boy." She told investigating officers that defendant had been "talking nasty" and tried to force her to have sex with one of his sons. When the female victim continued to resist, defendant seemed to drop the subject. The female victim was later awakened from her sleep on a sofa in the residence to find defendant performing anal sex on her. She noted that defendant used Vaseline and told her that he had given her Trazadone to facilitate the act. Afterwards, defendant refused to let the female victim leave his residence. Defendant's wife subsequently let the female victim leave the residence the next morning at about 10:35 a.m. The female victim explained that she did not tell anybody about the events of that evening because defendant threatened to kill her mother.
    At trial, the minor victims' testimony generally conformed with their earlier statements to the police. After presenting its evidence, the State dismissed several counts of the indictments, leaving eighteen counts to be submitted to the jury. The jury found defendant guilty of all the remaining eighteen charges. The trial court sentenced defendant in six consolidated judgments toconsecutive terms totaling 2016-2478 months imprisonment. Defendant appeals.
    Defendant contends the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce into evidence the statements made to the investigating officers by the minor victims. Defendant argues the statements were inadmissible hearsay and did not corroborate the victims' trial testimony in that the statements contained new matters. We disagree.
    "Corroborative testimony is testimony which tends to strengthen, confirm, or make more certain the testimony of another witness." State v. Bell, 159 N.C. App. 151, 155, 584 S.E.2d 298, 301 (2003). To be admissible as corroborative evidence, a witness' prior consistent statement need only tend to add weight or credibility to the witness' testimony. State v. Williams, 355 N.C. 501, 566, 565 S.E.2d 609, 647 (2002), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1125, 154 L. Ed. 2d 808 (2003). It is well established that corroborative evidence may contain new or additional facts which tend to strengthen and add credibility to the testimony it corroborates. State v. Burton, 322 N.C. 447, 450, 368 S.E.2d 630, 632 (1988); Bell, 159 N.C. App. at 155, 584 S.E.2d at 301. "A trial court has 'wide latitude in deciding when a prior consistent statement can be admitted for corroborative, nonhearsay purposes.'" State v. Lloyd, 354 N.C. 76, 104, 552 S.E.2d 596, 617 (2001)(quoting State v. Call, 349 N.C. 382, 410, 508 S.E.2d 496, 513 (1998)).
    In the case before us, the male victim's prior statements topolice tended to support both his and the female victim's trial testimony. The male victim's trial testimony, regarding the conversation the two victims had with each other about defendant's sex acts with them, is further bolstered by the female victim's prior statements to police. It is less clear whether the female victim's prior statements to police, which arguably are more detailed than her trial testimony, corroborates her testimony. We conclude that even assuming arguendo that her prior statements were erroneously admitted into evidence to corroborate the female victim's testimony, defendant cannot show that such error was prejudicial. Inasmuch as the minor victims' in-court testimony and defendant's confession overwhelmingly show that defendant committed the sex offenses of which he was convicted, defendant cannot show that the trial court committed reversible error in admitting either of the victims' prior statements.
    Defendant received a fair trial, free from prejudicial error.
    No error.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge BRYANT concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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