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Judges affirm credit restricted felon status

February 8, 2012

The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that because he pleaded guilty to Class B felony child molesting instead of a Class A felony, the Credit Restricted Felon Statute shouldn’t apply.

In Anthony T. White v. State of Indiana, No. 18A05-1108-CR-439, Anthony White faced two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count as a Class C felony for having sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter, who was age 11 and 12 during the molestations. He pleaded guilty to one count of Class B felony child molesting, was sentenced to 27 years in prison, and found him to be a credit restricted felon.

White argued that his age, which elevated the charge to the Class A felony, was an element specifically bargained out of the offense to which he pleaded guilty. The statute doesn’t require that the defendant’s age be alleged and established as an element of the crime for which the defendant was convicted. Rather, this provision of the credit restricted felon statute refers to conviction for the offense of child molesting involving sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct under Indiana Code 35-42-4-3(a), which addresses both Class A and B felonies.

“In the instant case, White was convicted of child molesting involving sexual intercourse under I.C. § 35-42-3-2(a). Moreover, the record clearly establishes that he was over the age of 21 when he committed the crime and his victim was under the age of 12. The credit restricted felon statute, therefore, plainly applies in this case, and it is of no moment that White pleaded guilty to class B felony child molesting, as opposed to class A felony child molesting,” wrote Judge Ezra Friedlander.

 

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