ILNews

Failure to report abuse charges to proceed against athletic director

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of LaPorte Community School Corp.’s athletic director Edward Gilliland’s attempt to dismiss two counts of misdemeanor failure to report child abuse filed against him. The charges stem from the conduct of LaPorte High School’s junior volleyball coach Robert Ashcraft.

After 15-year-old K.T. joined Ashcraft’s team in August 2007, some players’ parents told Gilliland that Ashcraft had given some team members foot rubs, texts, and hung out before school with K.T. by himself. Gilliland and head volleyball coach Marybeth Lebo deemed the behavior inappropriate and notes were made in Ashcraft’s file, but the authorities were never alerted.

Ashcraft did commit several sex offenses with K.T., which led to his convictions. In October 2008, Gilliland and Lebo prepared a resignation letter for Ashcraft that did not mention the behavior documented in his file. A month later, police interviewed Gilliland about Ashcraft’s “alleged misconduct” with K.T., but Gilliland said he had no knowledge that the reason Ashcraft resigned was because of that behavior.

An investigation in October 2010 led to two Class B failure to report child abuse or neglect charges filed against Gilliland. He and Lebo sought to dismiss the charges; the Court of Appeals recently left Lebo’s charges in place.

Gilliland argued the prosecution was barred by the two-year statute of limitations, he hadn’t engaged in concealment, and the charging information failed to state facts sufficient to constitute an offense or allow him to prepare a defense.

The trial court affirmed the charges but ordered that any offense committed prior to Oct. 5, 2007, would be outside the statute of limitations because any concealment did not begin until November 2008 when Gilliland spoke to investigators.

“We conclude that Gilliland concealed his offenses from the very beginning, thereby tolling the statute of limitations, and that the State could not have discovered sufficient evidence by exercise of due diligence to charge him prior to October 2010,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the majority in Edward Gilliland v. State of Indiana,
46A03-1202-CR-97. “Thus, we agree with the trial court that the charges were timely filed, but we conclude that any offense committed prior to October 5, 2007, would not be outside the statute of limitations and therefore the State does not have to amend the charging information in that respect.”

Judge L. Mark Bailey agreed with his colleagues that the state alleged facts sufficient to constitute the charged offenses, but agreed with the trial court that the concealment did not occur until the November 2008 interview with police.  

“I believe that, if Gilliland lied to officers on November 21, 2008, he committed a positive act, concealing Ashcraft’s crime and thus his own offense of failure to report. However, I disagree with the majority opinion to the extent that it suggests concealment might arise from remaining silent about one’s own crime, without more,” Bailey wrote.

 

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
  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.

ADVERTISEMENT