Appeal from the 412th District Court Brazoria County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 79985-CR
consists of Justices Christopher, Hassan, and Poissant.
found Appellant Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr. guilty of four counts
of aggravated sexual assault of a child. See Tex.
Penal Code Ann. § 22.021 (Vernon 2019). The jury
sentenced Appellant to four life sentences; the trial
court's final judgment states that these life sentences
are to run consecutively. In three issues, Appellant asserts
(1) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions;
(2) the trial court erred by admitting evidence of certain
extraneous offenses; and (3) the trial court erred by
admitting Facebook messages that were not properly
authenticated. For the reasons below, we affirm.
was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated
sexual assault of a child. Appellant proceeded to a jury
trial in February 2018.
Appellant's daughter, testified at trial. Complainant met
Appellant for the first time when she was 13 years old, after
having been removed from her mother's custody by the
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
("DFPS"). Complainant moved into Appellant's
Lake Jackson house in the summer of 2013; Complainant lived
at the house with Appellant, Appellant's wife Tiana
Ryder, and Tiana's son.
testified in detail regarding two incidents of sexual assault
that form the basis of Appellant's convictions. The first
incident occurred in December 2013, when Complainant was 13
years old. According to Complainant, a Christmas party was
held at Appellant's house during which she was given
alcohol. Complainant recalled drinking too much and said she
went to the bathroom in her bedroom to vomit.
that she "was really drunk" and that
"[e]verything was dizzy," Complainant said she
walked out of the bathroom and was met by Appellant.
According to Complainant, Appellant asked her if she
"was okay" and if she was "having a good
time." Complainant testified that Appellant hugged her
and started rubbing her back and butt. According to
Complainant, Appellant told her he "had a surprise"
for her and showed her a bottle of strawberry lubrication. At
some point, Appellant took off his necklace that had his
wedding ring on it and Tiana became upset and was mad at
Appellant about it.
and Complainant walked out of Complainant's bedroom and
into Appellant's bedroom. Appellant and Complainant lay
on the bed; Tiana walked into the bedroom and lay on the bed
with Appellant and Complainant. Complainant was in the middle
of the two adults. Complainant said Appellant opened the lube
and let her "taste it and Tiana, both of us."
Complainant testified that Appellant and Tiana "started
making out over the top" of her while Appellant was
"rubbing on [her] leg." Complainant said Appellant
instructed her to take off her shorts. Complainant took off
her shorts and sat down on the bed; Appellant kept trying to
get her to come in a little. "Like he would reach over
and rub [her] leg and try to get [her] to join in."
Appellant and Tiana were on their knees on the bed kissing
and Appellant reached for Complainant and pulled her into the
bed. Appellant and Tiana starting kissing Complainant and she
also kissed Tiana.
testified that Tiana walked out of the bedroom and told the
remaining party guests to leave the house. While Tiana was
out of the bedroom, Complainant said Appellant took off her
shirt and underwear and performed oral sex on her. Tiana
returned to the bedroom and, according to Complainant,
"it started getting really heated." Complainant was
on the bed and Tiana was on her knees performing oral sex on
the Complainant at the same time that Appellant was having
"doggy style" sex with Tiana. Appellant then had sex
with Complainant, putting his penis in her vagina and anus.
While Appellant was having sex with Complainant, Tiana
"was trying to get in front of" Complainant and
"wanted" Complainant to perform oral sex. Tiana
laid down on the bed and Complainant, on her knees, performed
oral sex on Tiana while Appellant was having "doggy
style" sex with Complainant.
testified that her stomach started to hurt and she felt
dizzy, after which she fell off the bed. Complainant said
Appellant and Tiana gave her a pillow and blanket and she
"laid there on the floor for a little while."
Complainant slept for a short while before returning to her
testified about a separate incident that occurred several
days later at a New Year's Eve party held at
Appellant's house. Complainant said she was drinking
alcohol in the living room when Appellant and Tiana
"started kissing." Complainant said "Tiana
came over . . . and started kissing on me, like you can get
in, too. Don't be afraid." Complainant testified
that she went in Appellant's bedroom with Appellant and
Tiana and "pretty much the same thing happen[ed]."
Complainant said she again had sexual intercourse with
Appellant during which he put his penis in her vagina.
Appellant then had sexual intercourse with Tiana, during
which he rubbed Complainant's clitoris and put his
fingers inside her vagina. Complainant testified that the
incident lasted for "maybe an hour." Afterwards
Appellant, Complainant, and Tiana returned to the living room
and watched the New Year's Eve ball drop on television.
testified regarding her interactions with Appellant after the
incidents at the Christmas party and New Year's Eve party
discussed above; this testimony described several of the
extraneous offenses Appellant challenges on appeal. These
incidents are summarized as follows:
• Appellant had a "sit-down" with Complainant
and Tiana to "talk about everything that happened."
During the sit-down, Appellant, Complainant, and Tiana
discussed "basically like rules . . . like we had to
find a compromise between us two where [Appellant] could get
what he want[ed] and [Complainant] [could] still get stuff
that [she] want[ed]." Complainant agreed to provide
Appellant "sexual things" in exchange for
"little freedoms" like going to beach parties,
spending the night at friends' houses, and smoking
marijuana. Complainant was told she could not tell anyone
about the sexual encounters.
• During some sexual encounters, Complainant would
urinate on Appellant. While she was urinating, Appellant
would masturbate and "sometimes . . . stick his finger
up [Complainant's] vagina."
• Complainant was required to give Appellant her
underwear at the end of the day. Appellant would put
Complainant's underwear on her stuffed frog, which he
would use while masturbating.
• Complainant described "quickies" with
Appellant, where he would have sexual intercourse with her at
• While he was masturbating, Appellant would instruct
Complainant to insert a phallic instrument into his anus.
• Appellant gifted Complainant a sex toy during
• Complainant said Appellant "had a lot" of
sex toys that they used "on some occasions."
Complainant said her sexual relationship with Appellant
lasted "[f]or most of 2014 going into 2015." In
July 2015, Complainant started dating J.V., whom she knew
through work and school. J.V. moved in to Appellant's house
that same month. Complainant said Appellant was
"jealous" of her relationship with J.V. and told
her she "spent too much time with" J.V. According
to Complainant, Appellant wanted J.V. to move out of the
house and gave him "formal notice to vacate" in
March 28, 2016, Complainant and J.V. went to the Lake Jackson
police station and Complainant reported Appellant's
actions to Detective Rachel Pierce. Detective Pierce
collected Complainant's cell phone and photographed
sexually-explicit messages sent from Appellant to Complainant
on Facebook Messenger. These photographs of Appellant's
and Complainant's messages were admitted into evidence at
also testified regarding the DFPS caseworkers with whom she
had worked, stating she "had like three or four"
caseworkers during the time she lived at Appellant's Lake
Jackson house. Complainant said she did not report the sexual
abuse to any of the caseworkers except Leonor Salazar.
Complainant said she met with Salazar in February 2014 and
told Salazar she "had been sexually assaulted by
[Appellant]." Complainant testified that Salazar told
her that she was lying. Afterwards, Complainant said she made
up her mind that she "wasn't going to tell anybody
else" because she "didn't want to go back into
a foster family."
additional witnesses testified at Appellant's trial -
relevant portions of their testimony are summarized below.
• Crystal Wilson, a DFPS investigator. Wilson
met with Complainant after Complainant disclosed the sexual
abuse allegations to Detective Pierce. After meeting with
Complainant, Wilson interviewed Appellant twice. Wilson
discussed with Appellant the "sexual nature" of the
messages he sent Complainant. After reviewing one of the
messages, Wilson testified that Appellant admitted to sending
the message and said it "was a joke."
• Kristi Bellomini, a forensic interviewer at
the Brazoria County Alliance for Children. Bellomini
interviewed Complainant on March 31, 2016. Complainant
discussed the sexual incidents with Bellomini; Bellomini
testified that Complainant "was very detailed with what
it was that she shared with me." On cross-examination,
Bellomini testified that Complainant did not discuss an
incident that occurred on New Year's Eve.
• Leslie Klug, cast manager at Fearshire Farms,
a haunted house in Angleton, Texas. Klug worked with
Appellant at Fearshire Farms. On one occasion, Klug used
Appellant's phone and found on the phone "some
emails and some pictures that concerned" her. Klug
passed this information on to Detective Pierce.
• Detective David Hawkins, with the Lake
Jackson Police Department. Detective Hawkins assisted with
executing a search warrant at Appellant's house on March
31, 2016. Detective Hawkins testified regarding the numerous
sex toys found at Appellant's house.
• Detective Stephen Bailey, with the Lake
Jackson Police Department. Detective Bailey also testified
regarding the search warrant executed at Appellant's
house on March 31, 2016.
• Detective Rachel Pierce, with the Lake
Jackson Police Department. Detective Pierce testified
regarding her meeting with Complainant on March 28, 2016.
Detective Pierce said she "collected [Complainant's]
phone at that time and . . . also took some photographs from
her Facebook account." Detective Pierce also discussed
the search warrant executed at Appellant's house. On
cross-examination, Detective Pierce acknowledged that (1)
Complainant did not discuss the New Year's Eve incident
with her; (2) Complainant did not say anything about
"tasting some type of lubricant along with Tiana;"
and (3) she was not able to verify that Complainant had told
a DFPS caseworker about the sexual incidents.
• Stacy Casey, a DFPS caseworker at the
Angleton office. Casey testified that she had home visits
with Complainant "several years ago" and met with
Complainant approximately 12 times at Appellant's house.
Casey testified that she did not "see any sex toys
laying out in the open" at Appellant's house.
• Leonor Salazar, a DFPS caseworker in San
Antonio. Salazar testified that Complainant did not tell her
about the sexual abuse allegations. Salazar denied telling
Complainant she was lying about the allegations.
The jury returned a verdict finding Appellant guilty of four
counts of aggravated sexual assault. For each count, the jury
sentenced Appellant to life in prison; the trial court's
final judgment states that these sentences ...