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Appeals court affirms molestation conviction

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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.

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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