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Panel affirms molesting conviction, rejects vouching, competency challenges

September 30, 2013

A man’s conviction of Class A and Class C felony child molesting was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday as judges rejected challenges of the victim’s competency to testify and whether the court allowed vouching testimony by multiple witnesses.

In Jeffrey Archer v. State of Indiana, the court rejected those appellate arguments and others in upholding a conviction and 25-year sentence.

“The trial court did not make an impermissible vouching statement when it indicated (the victim) was competent to testify. Nor were statements made by (three witnesses) impermissible vouching statements,” Judge Melissa May wrote for the panel that also included judges John Baker and Paul Mathias.

“The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to admit (the victim’s) post-allegation counseling records because the records were hearsay within hearsay. Final Instruction 6 did not prejudice Archer, and the State presented sufficient evidence he committed Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting. Finally, Archer has not demonstrated his defense counsel was ineffective. Accordingly, we affirm.”

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