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State v. Allgood

Court of Appeals of Utah

June 8, 2017

State of Utah, Appellee,
Anthony Todd Allgood, Appellant.

         Second District Court, Farmington Department The Honorable David R. Hamilton No. 131700297

          Nathan K. Phelps, Attorney for Appellant

          Sean D. Reyes and Mark C. Field, Attorneys for Appellee

          Judge Kate A. Toomey authored this Opinion, in which Judges J. Frederic Voros Jr. and Stephen L. Roth concurred.


          TOOMEY, JUDGE

         ¶1 Anthony Todd Allgood appeals his convictions for aggravated sexual abuse of a child, forcible sodomy, rape, and forcible sexual abuse. Allgood asks us to vacate his convictions, arguing they rest on false testimony and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm.


         ¶2 "On appeal, we review the record facts in a light most favorable to the jury's verdict and recite the facts accordingly." State v. Holgate, 2000 UT 74, ¶ 2, 10 P.3d 346 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). "We present conflicting evidence only as necessary to understand issues raised on appeal." Id.

         ¶3 Allgood was charged with several felonies based on his sexual abuse of his stepdaughter (Victim). After a jury trial, Allgood was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, forcible sodomy, two counts of rape, and three counts of forcible sexual abuse.

         The Abuse

         ¶4 Allgood began sexually abusing Victim when she was about eight or nine years old and continued to do so until she was seventeen years old. The abuse began with fondling but eventually escalated to oral and vaginal sex. Nearly all of the abuse occurred in Victim's bedroom under the guise of Allgood tucking her into bed for the night, even during Victim's teenage years. Although Victim suffered years of abuse, she was afraid to report it because her mother (Mother) loved and trusted Allgood and the family relied on his income.

         ¶5 Eventually Mother, Victim's brother (J.S.), and J.S.'s girlfriend (A.S.) grew suspicious of Allgood's behavior toward Victim. For example, Allgood spent considerable time tucking Victim into bed-sometimes up to two hours-often locking her bedroom door behind him. When confronted by Mother or J.S. about spending so much time in Victim's room, Allgood usually responded that he had fallen asleep, that Victim had fallen asleep on his arm, or that they had just been talking. In addition, Allgood often cuddled with Victim while they watched movies and held her hand while they walked or drove in the car.

         ¶6 In September 2010, Victim started dating a boy (Boyfriend). A.S. testified at trial that Allgood was jealous of Boyfriend's relationship with Victim and would not let them have much time to themselves "like a boyfriend and girlfriend would have." Mother testified that when Allgood saw them kissing, "you could just see the steam come off him."

         ¶7 After finding Victim's bedroom door locked one night while Allgood was tucking her in, Mother "banged on the door" and confronted Allgood. Mother asked him if he loved Victim "in a way that [he] shouldn't." Allgood assured Mother that nothing was going on and claimed she was "just being irrational." On several occasions Mother accused Allgood of behaving inappropriately with Victim. Allgood usually responded by asking, "Why would I do that? I love you." Despite Mother's suspicions, Allgood's explanations and reassurances kept her from contacting the police until much later.

         ¶8 On another occasion, while Victim was practicing driving with Allgood late at night, [1] Allgood "reached over and started groping [her] breasts, and that's when a cop pulled [them] over." The officer separated the two and put Victim in his police cruiser because he observed them in a "compromising position." "[F]rozen with fear, " Victim told the officer that Allgood was teaching her how to drive and that nothing else was going on. The officer called Mother and explained he had pulled over Victim and Allgood and that the situation did not "feel right." Mother asked to speak with Victim and was allowed to, but Victim reiterated that she was just out practicing driving. Despite his reservations, the officer let the two drive home.

         ¶9 Instead of questioning Allgood about the incident, Mother called Allgood's brother. She told him what had happened and explained that the officer felt something "suspicious [was] going on." Although Mother was concerned, she asked him to talk to Allgood because she had already accused Allgood of inappropriate behavior and she did not want to be accused again of being irrational.

         ¶10 After ten years of being sexually abused, Victim told her best friend (C.M.) that Allgood was abusing her. Although C.M. believed Victim was telling the truth, she did not report the abuse because she was shocked by the news and did not know what to do. About a month later, Victim told A.S. about it. Victim was helping A.S. with a paper route when "out of nowhere [she] started crying" and disclosed the abuse. A.S. tried to calm her down and urged her "to tell someone" else about it. But Victim kept saying that she was afraid to report Allgood because she feared that her "family life would be completely disrupted" if she did. A.S. told Victim to report Allgood or she would do it herself.

         ¶11 A few months later, Victim attempted to run away from home. When Mother was alerted to Victim's preparations, she confronted Victim and asked what she was doing. Victim answered, "'I can't take it anymore . . . I can't take him anymore.'" Confused and thinking that Victim may have been referring to her biological father, Mother asked, "'Who are you arguing with?'" Victim answered, "'[Allgood] is sleeping in my bed . . . [he] is having sex with me.'" After taking a moment to process this news, Mother called the police and reported the abuse.

         ¶12 While Mother and Victim waited for the police to arrive, Victim showed Mother a text message Allgood had sent earlier that day about how he was excited to be with her and to tuck her in that night.[2] Mother saw that the message came from Allgood's instant messenger account. She took Victim's phone and replied to Allgood's message, asking, "'What do you have planned for our time tonight?'" Allgood answered, "'Well, ...

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