ILNews

High court grants transfer in molestation case

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in a case to determine whether a defendant's convictions were unfairly affected by taped interviews played at trial.

In Brian Tyler v. State of Indiana, No. 69A04-0702-CR-120, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld Tyler's convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and two counts of felony child molesting, as well as finding his sentence was appropriate.

Tyler had exposed himself to five children in his care and touched one of the young girls. He also had the three girls touch him. Three recorded interviews done while the children were at Cincinnati Children's Hospital were admitted into evidence at Tyler's trial. The five children also testified live in front of the jury.

Tyler appealed his convictions, arguing the admission of the taped interviews was inadmissible because they exposed the jury to a "'repetitive drumbeat' of allegations." He also claims admission of the tapes was a fundamental error.

He compared his case to Stone v. State, 536 N.E. 2d534, 541 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989), in which the court reversed a conviction of child molesting because the state used multiple witnesses to produce a "drum beat repetition" of the child's story. In that case, four adult witnesses testified before the child, which hindered the child's credibility.

However, Tyler's case was found not to be like Stone because the children's live testimony was presented first and not bolstered by testimony from adults. The only repetition was the playing of the recorded interviews and there was no undue repetition of any single witness's story, ruled the appellate court.

Tyler also claimed his total sentence of 110 years for the three convictions and 30-year habitual offender enhancement was inappropriate. The appellate court ruled that although Tyler has had a hard life and a low IQ, he is a danger to society. He committed the offenses that contributed to his habitual offender charge while he was in prison and he abused a position of trust.
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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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