An attorney and former Democratic candidate for Gibson County prosecutor indicted on charges including possession of child pornography and false informing, entered into a plea agreement Tuesday that wouldn’t have required he register as a sex offender. After further review, the trial judge realized Indiana law requires him to do so.
William Wallace was indicted in June 2010 on charges of Class D felonies obstruction of justice and possession of child pornography, Class A misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, and Class B misdemeanor false informing. He also faced a Class D felony voyeurism charge. The charges stem from Wallace allegedly videotaping himself having sex with a former client and employee without her permission. He allegedly told the client that if the two had sex, he would write off money she owed him for legal fees. When police executed a search warrant of his home, they took computers, on which they found child pornography.
Wallace entered into a guilty plea Tuesday in Gibson Superior Court, pleading guilty to the Class D felonies obstruction of justice and possession of child pornography. Those convictions would be amended to Class A misdemeanors upon successful completion of probation and as long as Wallace had no other arrests or convictions while serving his sentence. He was sentenced to 18 months at the Indiana Department of Correction, with the first 90 days served on GPS home detention and the remainder served on probation. He also had to pay court costs and fines, complete 50 hours of community service and attend counseling.
As part of his plea agreement, he would not be required to register as a sex offender because the conviction would later be amended to a misdemeanor. But this is not permitted under Indiana law, Judge Earl Penrod concluded at a hearing Thursday afternoon. The judge issued an amended sentencing order that kept the original sentence intact except for Wallace’s Class D felony conviction of possession of child pornography.
Indiana law requires someone convicted of child pornography to register as a sex offender, contrary to what was discussed during negotiations and court proceedings, Penrod wrote in the amended sentencing order. He gave Wallace the option of withdrawing his guilty plea or allowing the original plea to stand with corrections made regarding the child pornography conviction. Wallace chose to not withdraw his previous plea of guilty and objected to the correcting of the sentence.
The Class D felony will not be amended to a Class A misdemeanor and now Wallace must register as a sex offender.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Wallace also offered his intent to plead guilty to the Class D felony voyeurism charge, which is currently before the Indiana Court of Appeals on interlocutory appeal regarding whether that charge can stand. Penrod took his intent to plead guilty under advisement until the COA makes its decision.