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COA instructs trial court to vacate 2 convictions of child molestation

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The Indiana Court of Appeals threw out two charges and sent a case back to the trial court after the state admitted that it did not intend to charge the defendant with four separate acts of child molestation.

Dennis Ray Smith was charged and convicted of two counts of Class A felony child molesting by sexual intercourse and two counts of Class A felony child molesting by sexual deviate conduct.

During a recorded interview with an Evansville police detective, Smith told the officer he had inappropriately touched his stepdaughter when she was 5 years old.

In Dennis Ray Smith v. State of Indiana, 82A01-1204-CR-175, Smith appealed his conviction on the grounds that his recorded statement to police should not have been admitted into evidence at trial because it was obtained in violation of his Fifth Amendment rights. He also argued that two of his convictions should be vacated because they violate Indiana’s prohibition against double jeopardy.

The COA affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded with instructions.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling to admit the recorded statement into evidence during the trial. It found Smith made the statement voluntarily and did not make an unequivocal request for an attorney.

However, the COA disagreed with the state that Smith waived any claim about the recorded statement because he failed to make a contemporaneous objection at trial. The court found that while the defense counsel raising his objection during a bench conference was not typical, it was sufficient to alert the trial court that the defense was objecting and why.

Also, the COA remanded with instructions to vacate the two counts of Class A felony child molesting by sexual deviate conduct. The state conceded it did not intend to charge Smith with four separate acts of child molestation, saying it was pleading in the alternative when it charged Smith with two counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor and with two courts of child molesting by sexual deviate conduct.


 

 

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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