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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues