State v. Wilson, ___ N.C. App. ___, 818 S.E.2d 160 (Aug. 7, 2018)

The evidence was sufficient to sustain the defendant’s convictions for sex offense by a substitute parent. The case involved allegations of digital penetration. On appeal the defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to establish that he penetrated the victim’s genitals. The only evidence offered by the State that could establish penetration came from an officer who testified to the defendant’s confession that he put his hands “in [the victim’s] genital area”, causing her to become sexually aroused. The officer recounted that the defendant talked about the victim being “wet.” The court concluded that a rational juror, hearing this description of the defendant being “in” the victim’s genital area and feeling that she was “wet” and sexually stimulated could reasonably infer that he at least penetrated her labia. Although the evidence does not conclusively establish penetration, a juror could reasonably infer that it occurred.