ILNews

Court of Appeals reverses molestation convictions

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.


 

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
ADVERTISEMENT