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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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