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Judge: Man did not commit attempted child exploitation

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The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a man committed attempted child exploitation when he tried to take pictures up teenagers’ skirts at a mall using a camera attached to his shoe.

On interlocutory appeal, David Delagrange challenged the trial court’s decision to not dismiss four counts of Class C felony attempted child exploitation for trying to snap pictures under four girls’ skirts. The alleged victims were 17 years old or 15 years old. He argued that the statutory definition of “sexual conduct” in place at the time when he tried to take the photos doesn’t describe his activity. The element of “sexual conduct” the parties discuss is “exhibition of the uncovered genitals intended to satisfy or arouse the sexual desires of any person … .”

Because he was charged with attempted child exploitation, it doesn’t matter whether he actually took photographs of uncovered genitals, the majority concluded. Senior Judge John Sharpnack and Judge Terry Crone also found his behavior was sufficient to constitute an attempted exhibition as described by statute.

“The State has alleged that Delagrange knowingly or intentionally attempted to create an image of sexual conduct, which is a sufficient statement of Delagrange’s mental state to survive a motion to dismiss. At trial, the State will bear the burden of proving that Delagrange possessed the culpable mental state, but the State does not need to meet that burden of proof at this stage,” wrote Judge Sharpnack in David Delagrange v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1010-CR-1086.

Judge John Baker dissented because he believed Delagrange’s activity at the Indianapolis mall didn’t satisfy the definition of “sexual conduct” as set forth Indiana Code 35-42-4-4 because nothing he did that day could be considered to have involved the “exhibition of the uncovered genitals intended to satisfy or arouse the sexual desire of any person.” His photographs may be morally unacceptable and alarming, but they don’t amount to attempted child exploitation under the current versions of statute, he wrote.

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  • Baker Dissents to Protect Attempt Child Exploitation
    Your headline should either confirm the majority opinion that Mr. Delagrange was attempting to exploit 3-17 year old girls and 1-15 year old girl by surreptitiously photographing UNDER their skirts or you should note Judge Baker's minority dissent that he doesn't believe such conduct is covered by Indiana law. Both your headline and the case itself are head shakers.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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