Ricky R. House, Jr., Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Posey Circuit Court The Honorable James M. Redwine,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 65C01-1409-F1-329
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT James H. Voyles Jennifer M. Lukemeyer
Voyles Zahn & Paul Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender Deputy Attorney General
Ricky House appeals his convictions for three counts of Level
1 felony rape, two counts of Level 5 felony criminal
confinement, and one count each of Level 5 felony kidnapping,
Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, and
Class A misdemeanor pointing a firearm. We affirm.
House raises one issue, which we restate as whether the trial
court properly excluded evidence of the victim's prior
House and his girlfriend, Kendra Tooley, lived in a trailer
in Stewartsville that did not have running water. House told
Tooley that he had a fantasy about abducting a woman and
On July 9, 2014, J.L. was living in a shelter in southern
Indiana. She was walking back to the shelter in the early
evening when House stopped to talk to her. J.L. knew House
and Tooley because she had previously worked with Tooley.
House asked if J.L. wanted to go with him to see Tooley, and
House agreed to bring J.L. back to the shelter before her
midnight curfew. J.L. went to House's trailer where she
smoked marijuana with House and Tooley and drank alcohol.
As J.L. was getting ready to leave so that House could return
her to the shelter, House "came at" her and placed
a rag soaked with chloroform on her face. Tr. p. 286. J.L.
lost consciousness and, when she woke up, she was naked,
blindfolded, had zip ties on her wrists and ankles, and was
tied "spread eagle" on a bed. Id. at 287.
House repeatedly sexually assaulted J.L. over the next
fifty-eight days. Sometimes Tooley would hold J.L.'s head
and force her to give House oral sex. House and Tooley made
J.L. wear a belt, dog collar, and leash. About halfway
through the fifty-eight days, House constructed a wooden cage
in the trailer. House and Tooley would place J.L. in the cage
and lock the door with a padlock. If J.L. did exactly what
was asked of her, she would be allowed to sit on the couch
and watch TV. Either House or Tooley was with J.L. at all
times. When J.L. screamed and struggled, House told her
"to shut up or he would shoot [her], kill [her]."
Id. at 289. House and Tooley repeatedly threatened
to shoot or "sell" J.L. Id. at 291. House
burned J.L.'s purse and other possessions. According to
J.L., House and Tooley regularly consumed marijuana and
methamphetamine during this time period.
On September 4, 2014, Ronald Higgs came to the trailer to
visit Tooley, who was his ex-wife. Tooley was having back
pain and had asked Higgs to bring her painkillers. When Higgs
arrived, Tooley told him that they were keeping a woman in a
cage in the next room. House gave J.L. a t-shirt to wear and
brought her out of the cage. Higgs did not recognize J.L.,
who "looked like a whipped dog, " was wearing a dog
collar, had a rope hanging down her back, was disheveled, and
"had a slight odor to her." Id. at 398.
Tooley told J.L., "The rules don't change because
[Higgs] is here." Id. at 439. Eventually, J.L.
was able to tell Higgs that she "didn't want to be
there" and that "they wouldn't let [her]
leave." Id. at 320. On September 6, 2014, Higgs
was leaving and gave House and Tooley $100 and said that he
was taking J.L. with him. House and Tooley refused to let
J.L. leave with Higgs and said, "She is not going
nowhere." Id. at 421. Higgs and House got into
a physical altercation, while Tooley grabbed the dog collar
and tried dragging J.L. back to the cage. House retrieved a
gun, which he pointed at Higgs. Higgs ultimately convinced
House that J.L. was leaving with him. Higgs took J.L. to his
apartment in Evansville where she showered, ate, and called
her mother. J.L.'s mother contacted the police, who had
been looking for J.L.
The State charged House with sixteen counts: (1) Level 1
felony rape; (2) Level 1 felony rape; (3) Level 1 felony
rape; (4) Level 1 felony rape; (5) Level 1 felony rape; (6)
Level 1 felony rape; (7) Level 1 felony conspiracy to commit
rape; (8) Level 3 felony criminal confinement; (9) Level 5
felony criminal confinement; (10) Level 3 felony criminal
confinement; (11) Level 5 felony criminal confinement; (12)
Level 3 felony kidnapping; (13) Level 5 felony kidnapping;
(14) Level 3 felony ...