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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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