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Judges uphold convictions of invasion of privacy

May 17, 2012

In a combined appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Marion County was the proper venue to try a defendant’s invasion of privacy charges. Dewayne Jones claimed prosecutors couldn’t prove his victims were in Marion County when he called them, a violation of a no-contact order.

In Dewayne Jones v. State of Indiana, Nos. 49A02-1109-CR-855 and 49A02-1109-CR-853, Dewayne Jones argued that the state didn’t prove that Marion County was the proper venue for his Class D felony invasion of privacy charges. The two charges stemmed from calls he made to Modesty Jones, his estranged wife, and her mother, Sheila Brown, after a no-contact order had been issued. In case 853, Jones was convicted for calling Brown on May 17, 2011; in case 855, he was convicted for calling Modesty Jones’ cell phone on May 20, 2011.

The appellate court cited Indiana Code 35-32-2-1(k), which deals with an offense committed by a person using an electronic communication outside of Indiana directed at an Indiana resident. The statute says that Indiana has jurisdiction over violators of valid protective orders issued in Indiana regardless of whether either the perpetrator or the victim is physically in Indiana at the time of the violation. The state only needed to prove that the two women lived in Marion County at the time the offense was committed. Both women testified that they were in their homes in Marion County when Dewayne Jones called them.

In addition, Dewayne Jones was in Marion County on home detention at the time of the calls.

 

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