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Appeals court affirms attempted rape conviction

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A man who tried to sexually assault a female co-worker as she slept in her home where he was a guest lost his appeal of an attempted rape conviction Friday.

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Marion Superior Court ruling, finding that evidence was sufficient to support the Class B felony conviction of Betwel Birari and that a prosecutor’s comments did not result in fundamental error.

Birari’s appeal in Betwel Birari v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1111-CR-1009, raised issues including the reliability of evidence, his intent and whether the victim, A.J., was aware of his actions.

The case stems from an incident in July 2011 in which A.J. allowed Birari to stay overnight in her apartment, along with her 2-year-old cousin, and awoke to find Birari on top of her and attempting to have sex.

“The record reveals that A.J. repeatedly told Birari that she merely wanted to remain friends. While A.J. was asleep in bed with her two-year-old cousin, Birari removed his clothes, removed A.J.’s sweatpants, and placed his erect penis near A.J.’s vagina,” according to the opinion. “After A.J. and her roommate were able to remove Birari from their apartment, Birari yelled, ‘Please, don’t call the police. Just kill me.’”

The appeals court rejected Birari’s claims on evidence, intent or the victim’s awareness. But the court ruled a prosecutor made improper statements to the jury intimating that Birari might have wanted the child to watch. However, the court said, “under the circumstances, we cannot say that the prosecutor’s comments resulted in fundamental error.”   

 

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  1. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  2. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  3. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  4. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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