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Court upholds former DCS worker’s child molesting convictions

June 27, 2012

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 24-year sentence imposed on a former Hamilton County Department of Child Services’ case manager found guilty of molesting his cousin’s son.

Cory A. Heinzman raised several issues on appeal: whether the trial court erred by denying his motion for discharge, whether it abused its discretion in admitting testimony that he claims vouched for the credibility of the victim and a letter written by the victim, and whether his convictions of three counts of Class C felony child molesting constitute double jeopardy. He also challenged his sentence.

In addition to being convicted of molesting his cousin’s son in 2002 and 2003 when the boy was 10 and 11, Heinzman pleaded guilty to Class D felony sexual battery in a separate case that involved the boy’s younger brother.

The trial court did not err in denying Heinzman’s motion for discharge because he waived his right to a speedy trial under Criminal Rule 4(C) by not objecting when the trial court set a trial date outside the one-year time limit, the judges found in Cory Heinzman v. State of Indiana, 29A02-1012-CR-1327. Because Heinzman was responsible for some delay in the trial, did not timely assert his right to a speedy trial, and has failed to demonstrate resulting prejudice, the delay in his trial didn’t violate his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

The judges ruled the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of the report showing Heinzman’s abuse had been “substantiated” because this testimony didn’t run afoul of Indiana Evidence Rule 704(b), wrote Judge Paul Mathias. The letter written by the victim was admissible under an exception to the hearsay rule and was cumulative of the boy’s testimony.

Heinzman’s convictions of child molesting don’t constitute double jeopardy and the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in sentencing him.

 

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