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Court upholds man’s molestation convictions

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Finding no juror misconduct or any fundamental error in the admission of certain testimony during a man’s trial for molesting his daughter, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld his multiple molestation convictions. He will also have to file a petition for post-conviction relief to challenge his habitual offender adjudication.

Brandon Robey was found guilty of four counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting for molesting his six-year-old daughter, A.P. After trial, he admitted that he was a habitual offender and habitual substance offender, and he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 110 years.

But in Brandon Robey v. State of Indiana, 12A02-1306-CR-502, Robey argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to correct error on the basis of alleged juror misconduct. Juror John Brannan knew of Robey from his previous employment at the county jail. Brannan did not work there when Robey was incarcerated on the molestation charges.

After he was convicted, two other jurors had a conversation on Facebook that said Brannan told them Robey bragged about raping his daughter and getting away with it. When juror Julie Gillespie testified about the conversation, she said that information came up after the jury had made a unanimous decision to convict Robey.

The Court of Appeals rejected Robey’s request for a retrial, finding the court was entitled to believe Gillespie’s testimony and did. They declined to reweight the evidence.

The judges also found he was not denied a fair trial based on the admission of statements by his daughter’s child services interviewer and her psychologist.  The DCS case managers comments were general in nature, and she did not directly comment on whether A.P.’s accusations against Robey were true in particular or whether A.P. was a truthful person in general, as allowed by Kindred v. State, 973 N.E.2d 1245 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

The judges only found one statement by the child’s counselor that constituted impermissible vouching, however, it was at most merely cumulative of her previous statements, both of which were elicited by Robey.

And even though Robey’s prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance can’t be used to support his habitual offender adjudication, he cannot challenge it on direct appeal based on Tumulty v. State, 666 N.E.2d 394 (Ind. 1996).  

“There is, quite simply, no room in Tumulty’s holding for any exceptions to the rule that you cannot challenge a habitual offender adjudication on direct appeal after pleading guilty. If Robey wishes to further challenge the factual basis underlying his admission to being a habitual offender, he will have to do so in a PCR petition,” Bradford wrote.

 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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