ILNews

Appeals court affirms molestation conviction

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A child molestation conviction will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a defendant’s arguments that the conviction should be reversed because of a prosecutor’s references to the defendant's failure to testify and that the evidence was insufficient.

The court affirmed Dennis Feyka’s Class A felony child molestation conviction for molesting a 10-year-old girl during a sleepover his daughter was hosting.

Feyka argued the prosecutor’s comments during closing argument were fundamental error.

“We cannot say the references to Feyka’s failure to testify were fundamental error,” Judge Melissa May wrote for the unanimous panel.

Feyka also raised inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony, including evidence that the victim told an investigator that she didn’t know whether the incident was real or a dream. She testified at trial that she knew it was real.

The victim’s “testimony provided ample evidence to support Feyka’s conviction,” May wrote. “The uncorroborated testimony of the victim, even if the victim is a minor, is sufficient to sustain a conviction of child molesting, Morrison v. State, 462 N.E.2d 78, 79 (Ind. 1984), and it is within the province of the trier of fact to reject evidence to the contrary. See, e.g., Bennett v. State, 409 N.E.2d 1189, 1191 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980) (conflict between the State’s case and a defendant’s alibi is a matter to be resolved by the jury, whose decision will not be overturned on appeal if there is substantial evidence of probative value in the record to support it).”

“We must decline Feyka’s invitation to invade the province of the jury by reweighing the evidence and reassessing witness credibility,” May wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

ADVERTISEMENT