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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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