State v. Blakeman, 202 N.C. App. 259 (Feb. 2, 2010)

In a sexual assault case involving a 13-year-old victim, the evidence was insufficient to establish aggravating factor G.S. 15A-1340.16(d)(15) (took advantage of a position of trust or confidence, including a domestic relationship). The defendant was the stepfather of the victim’s friend. The victim required parental permission to spend the night with her friend, and had done so not more than ten times. There was no evidence that the victim’s mother had arranged for the defendant to care for the victim on a regular basis, or that the defendant had any role in the victim’s life other than being her friend’s stepfather. There was no evidence suggesting that the victim, who lived nearby, would have relied on the defendant for help in an emergency, rather than going home. There was no evidence of a familial relationship between the victim and the defendant, that they had a close personal relationship, or that the victim relied on the defendant for any physical or emotional care. The evidence showed only that the victim “trusted” the defendant in the same way she might “trust” any adult parent of a friend.