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Appeals panel affirms molester’s dissemination sentence, refines scope of ‘performance’

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A man who molested children in his home lost his appeal on the argument that showing children pornographic images on a cellphone and exposing himself to them was not a public performance.

Rodney Melton was convicted in Marion Superior Court of Class C felony child molesting and Class D felony dissemination of matter harmful to minors and sentenced to an aggregate 11 years in prison. The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed his convictions and sentence.

In Rodney Melton v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1212-CR-1008, Melton didn’t challenge the more severe molestation conviction, but noted that the language governing the dissemination of matter harmful to minors statute in I.C. 35-49-3-3 requires a “performance … performed before an audience of one (1) or more persons.”
Melton argued that because his acts took place in a private area, he didn’t engage in a “performance.”

Melton cited Low v. State, 580 N.E.2d 737 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991), in which the appeals panel reversed a conviction of obscene performance for an escort arrested after an encounter with an undercover Carmel police officer when the department staged a sting operation.

“We find that case distinguishable,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel. “As pointed out by the State, Low did not involve an appeal from a conviction for dissemination of matter harmful to minors. Rather, Low involved two adults in a hotel room and a charge of an obscene performance.”

Also citing the dissent in Riffel v. State, 549 N.E.2d 1084 (Ind. Ct. App. 1990), trans. denied, Brown wrote, “there is no requirement in the statute defining performance that the performance take place in public.”

The court also rejected Melton’s argument that his sentence was inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of the offense, citing his “serious and escalating criminal history despite his young age, and the depravity of the offenses.”
 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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