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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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