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COA affirms voyeurism charge for would-be prosecutor; Supreme Court issues suspension

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a voyeurism charge for William R. Wallace, a former candidate for Gibson County prosecutor. Wallace, who videotaped himself and a woman engaged in sexual intercourse, had filed an interlocutory appeal, claiming that he was innocent of Class D felony voyeurism because the sex was consensual.

In William R. Wallace v. State of Indiana, No.26A01-1101-CR-9, Wallace had visited a woman – A.J. – while she was in jail in 2009 and offered her legal representation. She was initially scheduled to be released on Sept. 29 of that year, and Wallace later told her that date had been pushed back, but that if she agreed to have sex with him upon her release, he could ensure that she would get out of jail on Sept. 29.

After her release, A.J. met Wallace at an apartment belonging to Wallace’s friend. She engaged in sex with Wallace, unaware that he had videotaped the encounter. In March 2010, A.J. contacted police after she learned Wallace had shown the videotape to her boyfriend. The boyfriend told police that the video showed Wallace turning on the camera before A.J. entered the room, and that the camera continued to run after she left. A.J. demanded Wallace turn over the recording, and after at first denying it existed, he claimed he had destroyed it.

A police investigation ensued, and a search of Wallace’s home and the apartment where the video was recorded turned up at least two recordings of Wallace engaging in sex with women and a DVD of child pornography. A grand jury indicted Wallace on charges of Class D felony obstruction of justice, Class D felony possession of child pornography, Class A misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute and Class B misdemeanor false informing. The Class D voyeurism charge was added on Nov. 30, 2010.

On appeal, Wallace argued that because A.J. knowingly disrobed in front of him, he could not be charged with voyeurism. But the COA held that she did not consent to being videotaped, that Wallace was aware of that fact, and that he tried to conceal the recording from officers searching his home. The appellate court therefore affirmed the trial court’s order denying Wallace’s motion to dismiss the voyeurism charge.

In a separate but concurring opinion, Judge Michael Barnes wrote that A.J. “made a barter choice, and I do not think she is a typical ‘victim’ envisaged by this statute.”

The Indiana Supreme Court published order No. 26S00-1112-DI-700, dated Jan. 27, suspending Wallace due to being found guilty of a crime punishable as a felony. The order states the suspension will continue until further order of the court or final resolution of disciplinary action.

 

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