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148347 - People v Overton (Randall)

The People of the State of Michigan,
Madonna Georges Blanchard
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
(Wayne – Parker, L.)
Randall Scott Overton,
Shannon M. Smith


​Randall Scott Overton and Chrystal Lynn-Guardalupe Pope had been in a relationship from the time the victim was age four or five. When the victim, Pope’s daughter, was a young adolescent, Overton required her to submit to periodic “virginity checks,” during which Overton visually inspected her genitals. The victim also testified that Overton once shaved her public hair and applied ointment to the area.  Finally, she testified that Overton once used a mirror to visually observe her genitals while he instructed her to insert her finger inside her vagina, under the pretext of teaching her how to use a tampon.

After a jury trial, Overton was convicted of one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, MCL 750.520b(1)(a), for the incident in which he directed the victim to insert her finger in her vagina; one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, MCL 750.520c(1)(a), for the shaving incident; and three counts of gross indecency between a male and a female, MCL 750.338b, for the virginity checks. The trial court sentenced Overton to concurrent prison terms of 25 to 40 years for the first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction, 29 months to 15 years for the second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction, and 17 months to 5 years for each gross indecency conviction.

Overton appealed to the Court of Appeals.  On appeal, he challenged the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions, including his conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Under MCL 750.520b(1)(a), “[a] person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree if he or she engages in sexual penetration with another person and . . . [t]hat person is under 13 years of age.”  Sexual penetration is defined as “sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body, but emission of sperm is not required.”  MCL 750.520a(r).  Overton argued that he could not be convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct where the evidence showed that the victim used her own finger to penetrate her vagina.  The Court of Appeals disagreed.  “The fact that the victim’s vagina was penetrated by her own finger, instead of one of Overton’s body parts, does not mean that the act did not constitute sexual penetration under MCL 750.520a(r),” held the panel.  “Here, Overton was engaged in the intrusion of a human body party – a finger – into the genital opening of another person’s body – the victim’s vagina – when the victim obeyed Overton’s instruction to digitally penetrate herself under the pretext of teaching her how to use a tampon.”  The Court of Appeals affirmed Overton’s first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction.  The Court of Appeals held that there was sufficient evidence to support Overton’s remaining convictions, and that he raised no appellate issue warranting relief.  Accordingly, it affirmed his convictions and sentences, but remanded the case to the trial court for the ministerial task of confirming that the controlling judgment of sentence was accurate. 

Overton filed an application for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court. In an order dated June 13, 2014, the Supreme Court directed the Clerk to schedule oral argument on whether to grant the application or take other action.