Dad CLINT RYAN VLAHAKIS has lost his appeal for his 2008 conviction for molesting his 6-year-old daughter. Note below that Dad confessed to the crime in a letter to the Department of Social Services (so it's pretty apparent that he did it), AND that he had unsupervised weekend visitation. For all the fuss about an appeal, Dad is only going to serve 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years in prison anyway.
Man loses appeal of conviction
August 11, 2009 8:39 AM
A Jacksonville man has lost his appeal of a 2008 conviction for molesting his 6-year-old daughter, according to court records made public last week.
Clint Ryan Vlahakis, 37, currently housed in Pender Correction Institution, appealed his May 2008 conviction for child abuse by sexual act based on a difference between the jury’s instructions and the charge in his indictment.
Vlahakis argued that the jury instructions given at trial by Onslow County Superior Court Judge Jack W. Jenkins were erroneous because the indictment alleged Vlahakis “feloniously did commit a sexual act, digital penetration of the vagina and rectum,” while Jenkins defined sexual act to the jury as “an immoral, improper or indecent touching.”
The N.C. Appeals Court ruled no error was committed because according to case law, an indictment only has to allege the ultimate facts that constitute the elements of the criminal offense; it does not have to allege evidentiary matters.
The Appeals Court used State v. Bollinger where the defendant appealed his conviction because his indictment read he had concealed weapons, including, but not limited to, brass knuckles. The judge in the trial instructed the jury that if it found the defendant to have possessed concealed weapons, including knives, they were to find him guilty.
“In Bollinger, this Court found that the act of carrying a concealed weapon is the gist of the offense and that the difference in the type of weapon carried is inconsequential,” the Appeals Court stated in its ruling.
The gist of the crime in Vlahakis’ case was the abuse rendered when “any sexual act” was committed upon the child. The language used to describe how Vlahakis committed the sexual act is not essential so the language in both the indictment and the jury instructions is irrelevant, the Court ruled.
“Defendant has not shown plain error because the alleged error in the jury instructions did not tilt the scales and cause the jury to reach its verdict,” the Court ruled. “In contrast, evidence at trial unequivocally showed that defendant committed a sexual act upon his then 6-yearold daughter.”
In 2000, Vlahakis’ exwife and three children moved to Jacksonville with a different last name. From then until 2006, the children made only a handful of weekend visits to see Vlahakis, court records state.
In November 2006, the children were told they were going to see their father and the youngest daughter began to cry. Her grandparents asked the other children why she did not want to go see her father and were told by Vlahakis’ son that “his daddy did not love him and (and his other sister) the way he loved (the 6-year-old)” and that Vlahakis had touched her private area “under the blanket.”
The 6-year-old later told a caseworker from the Department of Social Services that her father touched her private parts.
On Dec. 22, 2006, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department arrested Vlahakis. While in jail, he mailed a letter to DSS dated 22 January 2007.
“My depression has taken over my life,” The letter states. “I need major help. Please help me. If I cannot be around my kids I wish not to live anymore. If my child say I did it to her, so be it. I done it. I trust my kids more than I trust myself.”
During the trial, the 6-year-old testified that while she and Vlahakis were on the bed together, he touched her where she “goes to the potty” and told her to keep it a secret.
Vlahakis testified in his own defense that he had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, epilepsy and short-term memory loss. He claimed “to do things I do not know that I am doing.”
Vlahakis agreed to the jury instructions before they were given to the jury.
On May 12, 2008, the jury found him guilty of felony child abuse by a sexual act. He was sentenced to two and a half to three and a half years in prison