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High court upholds stalking conviction

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It’s up to a trier of fact to determine if someone’s conduct involved repeated or continuing harassment to qualify as stalking, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled, since there is no statutorily determinate timeframe required for this type of conviction.

The majority affirmed Rodney Nicholson’s stalking conviction relating to a woman and her daughters. Nicholson repeatedly called the woman’s house in 2006 over a six-month period, breathing heavily and discussing masturbation. He would hang up if the woman’s husband got on the phone. Nicholson was convicted of voyeurism after he was found outside the victims’ home and arrested. For the time he was incarcerated, the calls stopped. He made another call on Nov. 1, 2008.

Nicholson appealed his stalking conviction, which a split Court of Appeals reversed, citing the time between the harassing phone calls. Justice Frank Sullivan agreed with the COA’s decision, but the rest of the justices upheld Nicholson’s conviction.

Justice Steven David noted that Indiana statute doesn’t define the timeframe for a stalking conviction, and it could happen over a matter of minutes or years. The trier of fact should determine if the course of conduct involves repeated or continuing harassment, he wrote.

In addition to meeting the time prong of the stalking statute, the state proved that the victim felt terrorized, frightened, intimidated or threatened.

“Had Nicholson not been incarcerated between 2006 and 2008, our analysis may have been different. However, it appears the main reason the stalking of the victims took a break was Nicholson’s incarceration. Because of this, we hold Nicholson engaged in a knowing course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of the wife,” David wrote in Rodney Nicholson v. State of Indiana, No. 55S01-1107-CR-444.

 

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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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