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Appeals court affirms molester’s conviction, splits on probation restriction

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A man’s 15-year executed prison sentence for a conviction of child molesting was affirmed by a Court of Appeals panel Tuesday, but one judge found the conditional probation restrictions on activities involving children unconstitutionally vague.

In Anthony Scott Bratcher v. State of Indiana, 90A02-1301-CR-3, the appeals panel affirmed the Class B-felony conviction imposed in Wells Circuit Court after Bratcher pleaded guilty to molesting a 5-year-old girl when he was 18.

The panel found the sentence was not inappropriate and that Bratcher had not received the maximum sentence because five years of the 20-year term was suspended to probation.

“While Bratcher’s troubled childhood that resulted in juvenile adjudications and placement in juvenile facilities is a consideration in a review of his character, so too is his behavior while in those juvenile facilities,” Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III wrote for the panel that included judges Michael Barnes and Terry Crone.

“Bratcher repeatedly violated probation under his various dispositional orders. Most significant of all these violations was that Bratcher committed child molesting while on juvenile probation for theft,” prior to the instant case.

Crone concurred in the opinion except for its ruling affirming a condition of probation that restricted his interaction with children. The condition: "You shall not participate in any activity which involves children under 18 years of age, such as, but not limited to, youth groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, 4-H, YMCA, YWCA, or youth sports teams, unless given permission by the Court."    

As he did in Collins v. State, 911 N.E.2d 700, 707 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), trans. denied, Crone wrote in a one-paragraph dissent, “I believe that condition is unconstitutionally vague. Therefore, I respectfully dissent as to that issue.”



 


 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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