ILNews

Justices ready for sex-offender registry issue

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court will consider two cases this week asking whether convicted sex offenders can be required to register for life on a statewide database.

The state's highest appeals court will hear a combined argument Thursday in Todd L. Jensen v. State, No. 02A04-0706-CR-351, and Richard P. Wallace v. State, No. 49A02-0706-CR-498. Arguments are set to begin at 9:45 a.m. and can be viewed online through a webcast.

Now, Jensen v. State and Wallace v. State have a combined case number of 02S04-0803-CR-137.

The Jensen case comes from Allen Superior Court, where in 2000 Todd L. Jensen pleaded guilty to various child-related crimes and was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. But in 2006 - two years after Jensen had been released from probation - Superior Judge Frances Gull determined he should be classified as a sexually violent predator and must register for life on the statewide registry. The Court of Appeals reversed in a December 2007 decision, finding that it violated ex post facto considerations and determining that Jensen should abide by the 10-year registration requirement.

Similar arguments are being raised in Wallace, which hails from Marion County. Richard P. Wallace pleaded guilty in 1989 to an offense against a child, served his sentence, and learned that he would have to register for life as a sex offender.

The Court of Appeals rejected Wallace's arguments and affirmed his conviction in a January ruling, finding that the requirement that he register for life didn't violate the prohibition against ex post facto laws.

This is the third time the justices are considering sex-offender related cases in the past two weeks. Justices heard arguments April 30 in J.C.C. v. State, No. 49A02-0403-JV-266, that asked whether juveniles - a 14-year-old boy in this case - can be placed on the state's sex offender registry for forcing younger boys into various sexual acts.
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  4. Oh, and you fail to mention that you deprived the father of far FAR more time than he ever did you, even requiring officers to escort the children back into his care. Please, can you see that you had a huge part in "starting the war?" Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

  5. Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

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