ILNews

COA affirms sexually violent predator findings

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that two defendants are sexually violent predators, ruling the state had produced sufficient evidence to support the determinations under the versions of the sexually violent predator statute used by the trial courts in each case.

In Johanna P. Williams v. State, No. 47A05-0802-CR-101 and Ronald Lynn Scott Jr. v. State, No. 82A04-0802-CR-85, Johanna Williams and Ronald Lynn Scott Jr. challenged the findings that they were sexually violent predators. The Court of Appeals mentioned its decisions in both cases in the two opinions.

Williams pleaded guilty to child molesting as a Class C felony and sexual misconduct with a minor as a Class C felony following two incidents involving her niece and a foster child in her sister's care. Scott pleaded guilty to three counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor following an incident with his niece.

Williams challenged her enhanced sentence under Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004), arguing she is entitled to the former presumptive sentencing scheme since she committed her crimes in March 2005. The Court of Appeals found the facts underlying the aggravator - that Williams was in a position of trust with her victims - wasn't established by the state. The facts underlying the aggravator weren't found by a jury nor admitted by Williams or her attorney, wrote Judge Patricia Riley. The appellate court remanded to allow the state to establish a position of trust aggravator consistent with Blakely. If the state elects not to do so, the trial court is to re-sentence Williams without any aggravators, wrote the judge.

The three-judge panel affirmed the findings Williams and Scott were sexually violent predators, ruling there was sufficient evidence to support the determination. The trial court in Williams’ case operated under the terms of the amended 2006/2007 statutes in effect at the time of her sexually violent predator and sentencing hearing, where in Scott’s case, the trial court used the 2004 statutes, wrote Judge Riley.

In both cases, Williams and Scott met the criteria to be considered sexual violent predators. Several pieces of evidence support the SVP finding against Williams, including her lack of remorse, a doctor’s diagnosis of Williams with pedophilia, alcohol abuse, personality disorder, and a brain injury, and the doctor’s testimony Williams is a sexually violent predator, wrote the judge.

As in Williams, the two doctors who evaluated Scott didn’t agree he was a sexually violent predator; however, with the one doctor’s report Scott is likely to offend again, Scott’s previous conviction for attempted child molesting, and his lack of remorse, there is enough evidence to support the SVP finding, wrote Judge Riley.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

ADVERTISEMENT