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Judges reverse felony sexual battery conviction

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Because the state didn’t prove an essential element needed to convict a man of Class D felony sexual battery, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out his conviction. But there was enough evidence to support convicting the man of Class B misdemeanor battery.

In Mitchell A. McCarter v. State of Indiana, No. 26A04-1106-CR-409, Mitchell McCarter struck up a conversation with a teenage girl in Wal-Mart. He led her to believe he was a police officer and told her he could keep her out of trouble. The teen’s friend had tried to shoplift from the store and was being detained at the time McCarter began talking to the teen. He tried to get her to sit in his car and talk and got her to give him a kiss on the cheek. When she kissed him, McCarter grabbed her closer and tried to kiss her and put his hands on her and grabbed her buttocks.

He appealed his conviction of Class D felony sexual battery, arguing that force – which is needed to convict someone of the charge – wasn't proved because the teen was never afraid and he didn’t use force in his interaction with her.

The judges found the state didn’t prove the element of whether D.H. perceived she was compelled to submit to the groping through force or the threat of force, so they reversed his conviction. But there is enough evidence to support a lesser charge. The COA ordered the trial court enter a judgment for Class B misdemeanor battery and resentence McCarter.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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