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Court of Appeals rejects typo argument in reversing a sentence for child molestation

September 11, 2012

In a split ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a South Bend man’s conviction of child molestation but rejected the state’s claim that wording on a supplemental sentencing order was a scrivener’s error.

Aaron Young was found guilty in October 2011 on two counts of Class A felony child molestation for abusing his daughter. The trial court then issued a supplemental sentencing order that classified Young as a credit restricted felon because the victim was under 12 years of age.  

Young appealed his conviction on the grounds that the state did not present sufficient evidence to prove he committed Class A felony child molestation and that the trial court erred when it found him to be a credit restricted felon.

In Aaron Young v. State of Indiana, No. 71A05-1111-CR-650, the COA affirmed the conviction, finding the victim’s testimony was not “incredibly dubious” and that the state did present evidence of sexual activity.

However, the court reversed the trial court’s determination that Young is a credit restricted felon and remanded for recalculation of his credit time.

The trial court referenced Count II in its supplemental sentencing order when it found the victim was under the age of 12 at the time the charged molestation occurred but, Young argued, Count II did not happen prior to his daughter’s 12th birthday. The state countered that the reference to Count II instead of Count I “was likely a scrivener’s error and otherwise harmless.”

Declining to categorize the reference to Count II as a “minor mistake,” the COA held the trial court erred when it decided Young was a credit restricted felon because the state did not present evidence that he committed any actions in Count II while the victim was younger than 12.


 

 

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