Appeals court affirms admission of victim video in molestation trial

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St. Joseph Probate Court did not err when it allowed videotaped evidence of a child molesting victim to be presented at the fact-finding hearing of a minor who subsequently was placed at the Indiana Boys School.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling in A.R.M. v. State of Indiana, No. 71A05-1111-JV-613. “The juvenile court did not err when it determined that the child victim’s videotaped statement to a forensic interviewer was reliable and that, on the facts presented, the child victim had testified at the fact-finding hearing, which was equivalent to the trial required by the (Protected Persons Statute),” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel.

The appeal involves A.R.M., one of four children of a mother who lived with two friends in South Bend. A.R.M. was a 13-year-old boy accused of crimes against an 8-year-old boy that would have been felony child molestation and battery if committed by adults, according to court records. At trial, A.R.M. was adjudicated a delinquent and committed to the Indiana Department of Correction for placement at the Indiana Boys School.

At issue in the appeal was the reliability of the videotaped interview with the victim, S.M., conducted several days after the incident. The interview took place at the office of St. Joseph Child Abuse Services Investigation and Education center.

A.R.M. contended the videotape didn’t meet the standard under the PPS to be reliable, and that the state didn’t meet the requirement of having S.M. testify or showing, through medical testimony or other evidence, that S.M. was unavailable to testify at the fact-finding hearing. The appeal also suggested the victim had been coached by his mother.

The appeals court ruled otherwise, saying no evidence of coaching existed, and that the court satisfied admission requirements to assure the videotaped evidence was reliable.

“We cannot say that the juvenile court abused its discretion when it determined that the time, content, and circumstances of the videotape provide sufficient indications of reliability,” Najam wrote.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.