PEOPLE OF MI V RONALD LEE JOHNSONAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
December 1, 1998
Oakland Circuit Court
LC No. 96-148304 FC
RONALD LEE JOHNSON,
Before: White, P.J., and Markman, and Young, Jr., JJ.
Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual
conduct, MCL 750.520b; MSA 28.788(2), one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm
less than murder, MCL 750.84; MSA 28.279, and one count of assault with intent to commit sexual
penetration, MCL 750.520g(1); MSA 28.788(7)(1). Defendant was sentenced to fifteen to thirty
years’ imprisonment for the criminal sexual conduct convictions, and five to ten years’ imprisonment on
the remaining two convictions. Defendant appeals as of right, and we affirm.
Defendant and the complainant were husband and wife. On the night of the assault, which
lasted over a period of several hours and involved a severe beating, defendant penetrated the
complainant’s vagina using a cologne bottle and a candle. Defendant sought to admit evidence of prior
consensual sexual activity between defendant and the complainant using the cologne bottle and the
candle. The trial court indicated that justice would warrant introduction of some evidence, but that the
degree would be limited based on the complainant’s testimony and/or defendant’s choice to take the
stand. Later in the trial, the court sustained the prosecutor’s objection to defense counsel’s inquiry of
the complainant whether she ever engaged in any type of sexual practices in the past with the candle or
the cologne bottle. On appeal, defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by so limiting
the questioning of the complainant.
We conclude that any error in refusing to permit the complainant to answer the question was
harmless. Sometime after the exchange at issue, the complainant was asked to comment on a letter
written by defendant, in which defendant asserted that they had oral sex that night and that because of
his health problems, the couple often had “sex with toys like the Brut bottle or candles.” The witness
No. We didn’t have oral sex that night. Because he did have some impotence
problems, we had discussed previous alternate ways of doing things, but not that day
and not necessarily with those items, but there was discussion about that problem.
Thus, the complainant, in effect, answered the prior question.
Further, the testimony of force through the beating was so overwhelming that we are satisfied
that even if the jury had heard that the complainant had been penetrated consensually by objects such as
the cologne bottle and candles in the past, the jury would not have found that there was consent on the
night in question.
/s/ Helene N. White
/s/ Stephen J. Markman
/s/ Robert P. Young, Jr.