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Court of Appeals reverses molestation convictions

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has thrown out a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting because the trial court erred in admitting improper vouching testimony.

Ernesto Gutierrez’s stepdaughter accused him of molesting her on several occasions. M.L. was examined by a sexual assault nurse, Michelle Ditton, and spoke to LaGrange Department of Child Services’ case manager Penny Hasselman. At Gutierrez’s trial, there were inconsistencies in M.L.’s testimony. Ditton and Hasselman testified – over objections from Gutierrez – about whether they believed M.L. was telling the truth about the molestations. Both said they believed her.

In Ernesto Gutierrez v. State of Indiana, No. 44A03-1106-CR-257, the Court of Appeals reversed Gutierrez’s convictions because the testimony of Ditton and Hasselman ran afoul of Indiana Evidence Rule 704(b)’s prohibitions. The trial court erred in admitting the vouching testimony, which invaded the province of the jury and prejudiced Gutierrez’s substantial rights, Judge John Baker wrote.

The appellate court ordered Gutierrez be retried.


 

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  1. OK, now do something about this preverted anacronism

  2. William Hartley prosecutor of Wabash county constantly violates people rights. Withholds statement's, is bias towards certain people. His actions have ruined lives and families. In this county you question him or go out of town for a lawyer,he finds a way to make things worse for you. Unfair,biased and crooked.

  3. why is the State trying to play GOD? Automatic sealing of a record is immoral. People should have the right to decide how to handle a record. the state is playing GOD. I have searched for decades, then you want me to pay someone a huge price to contact my son. THIS is extortion and gestapo control. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW.

  4. I haven't made some of the best choices in the last two years I have been to marion county jail 1 and two on three different occasions each time of release dates I've spent 48 to 72 hours after date of release losing a job being denied my freedom after ordered please help

  5. Out here in Kansas, where I now work as a government attorney, we are nearing the end of a process that could have relevance in this matter: "Senate Bill 45 would allow any adult otherwise able to possess a handgun under state and federal laws to carry that gun concealed as a matter of course without a permit. This move, commonly called constitutional carry, would elevate the state to the same club that Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming have joined in the past generation." More reading here: http://www.guns.com/2015/03/18/kansas-house-panel-goes-all-in-on-constitutional-carry-measure/ Time to man up, Hoosiers. (And I do not mean that in a sexist way.)

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