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COA upholds molester’s sentence, registration requirement

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The trial court order that a Vigo County man convicted of child molesting must register as a sexually violent predator did not violate the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution, the Court of Appeals ruled.

Bobby Harlan challenged his 10-year sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of Class B felony child molesting for acts that occurred between 1986 and 1994. Harlan admitted to molesting a girl he and his wife babysat. According to court documents, the girl’s sister, A.C., was also molested, but he was not charged in connection to her.

A.C. wore a wire while talking to Harlan that recorded his admission to molesting L.G. twice.

He also challenged the requirement he register as a sexually violent predator.

Giving deference to Supreme Court precedent on this issue as determined in Lemmon v. Harris, 949 N.E.2d 803, 809 (Ind. 2011), and Jensen v. State, 905 N.E.2d 384 (Ind. 2009), the judges found the requirement he register is not an ex post facto violation.

They also found Wallace v. State, 905 N.E.2d 371, 374-75 (Ind. 2009), doesn’t apply because Harlan committed one of his crimes after the sex offender registration requirements took effect.

The appellate court upheld his sentence and found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in the course of identifying and weighing aggravating and mitigating factors.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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