State v. Williams, 207 N.C. App. 136 (Sept. 7, 2010)

In a sexual offense case, there was sufficient evidence that the victim, an adult with 58 I.Q., was mentally disabled and that the defendant knew or should reasonably have known this. (1) Because the parties agreed that the victim was capable of appraising the nature of his conduct and of communicating an unwillingness to submit to a sexual act (he told the defendant he did not want to do the act), the issue on the mentally disabled element was whether the victim was substantially capable of resisting a sexual act. The victim was mildly mentally retarded. He had difficulty expressing himself verbally, was able to read very simple words and solve very simple math problems, and had difficulty answering questions about social abilities and daily tasks. He needed daily assistance with cooking and personal hygiene. Notwithstanding the victim’s communication of his unwillingness to receive oral sex, the defendant completed the sexual act, allowing an inference that the victim was unable to resist. (2) There was sufficient evidence that the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was mentally disabled. An officer testified that within three minutes of talking with the victim, it was obvious that he had some deficits. By contrast, the defendant appeared normal and healthy. While the defendant had a driver’s license, held regular jobs, took care of the victim’s mother, could connect a VCR, and could read “somewhat,” the victim could not drive, never held a regular job, could cook only in a microwave, had to be reminded to brush his teeth, did not know how to connect a VCR, and could not read. Moreover, the defendant had sufficient opportunity to get to know the victim, having dated the victim’s mother for thirteen years and having spent many nights at the mother’s house, where the victim lived.