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Powell v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia
510 S.E.2d 18 (1998)


Anthony Powell (defendant) was charged with rape and aggravated sodomy related to sexual conduct involving his wife’s 17-year old niece in Powell’s apartment. The niece testified that the sexual acts occurred without her consent and against her will, while Powell stated that he performed the acts with the niece’s consent. When giving the jury charge, the trial court provided instructions on the law of sodomy, O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2(a). The jury acquitted Powell of the rape and aggravated sodomy charges, but found him guilty of sodomy, indicating that the state did not meet its burden of proving the sexual acts were committed by force and against the niece’s will. Powell appealed his conviction, arguing that the statute criminalizing acts of sodomy engaged in by adults, in private and without force, is unconstitutional, because it infringes upon his state-granted privacy rights.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Benham, J.)

Concurrence (Sears, J.)

Dissent (Carley, J.)

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