Child Molesting

Appeals court affirms molestation conviction

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A child molestation conviction will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a defendant’s arguments that the conviction should be reversed because of a prosecutor’s references to the defendant's failure to testify and that the evidence was insufficient.
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Judge: consider corroborative evidence in certain molestation cases

July 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John Baker thinks it’s time that corroborative evidence be required in child molestation cases in which the charges are supported by the testimony of a single witness.
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COA upholds molester’s sentence, registration requirement

July 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court order that a Vigo County man convicted of child molesting must register as a sexually violent predator did not violate the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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Clark County man waived right to appeal

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Southern Indiana man, as part of his plea agreement on child molesting charges, knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to challenge the propriety of his sentence on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Sex offender’s home ownership doesn’t impact residency restriction

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A convicted sex offender who argued that a probation condition prohibiting him from living within 1,000 feet of a school is unduly restrictive on his property interest in a home he owns lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appellate courts may consider credit time status

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana appellate courts can take into account the potential consequences of an offender’s status as a credit restricted felon when reviewing a sentence, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Court upholds former DCS worker’s child molesting convictions

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 24-year sentence imposed on a former Hamilton County Department of Child Services’ case manager found guilty of molesting his cousin’s son.
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Appeals court affirms admission of victim video in molestation trial

June 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
St. Joseph Probate Court did not err when it allowed videotaped evidence of a child molesting victim to be presented at the fact-finding hearing of a minor who subsequently was placed at the Indiana Boys School.
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Revocation of probation was court error

June 5, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A trial court erred when it revoked a man’s probation, because it failed to consider several factors before issuing that order, Indiana’s Court of Appeals ruled.
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Woman's claim fails under modified impact and bystander rules

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The woman who sued a northern Indiana lawyer and his law firm for not filing her lawsuit against a school district following the discovery that her grandson was sexually abused by a teacher’s assistant lost her appeal.
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Trial court ordered to determine if man was diligent in pursuing appeal

May 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a man cannot appeal the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, but the trial court should determine whether the defendant has been without fault and diligent in pursuit of his original appeal of child molesting convictions.
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Man not prejudiced by lawyer's failure to advise about deportation

May 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant’s trial counsel was deficient by not advising his client about the risk of deportation following a guilty plea, but the defendant wasn’t prejudiced by the performance, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Indiana Supreme Court takes two cases

May 8, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases for the week ending May 3 – one involving a physician, and one involving a man convicted of child molesting.
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Judges uphold inpatient treatment for juvenile

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because the record shows that a juvenile’s placement at an inpatient treatment facility is consistent with the goals for the teen’s rehabilitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the juvenile court’s placement order.
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5th Amendment right against self-incrimination not violated

April 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that because a defendant’s attorney asked a detective whether the defendant admitted to molesting his girlfriend’s daughter, the defense opened the door to the prosecution to ask about the scope of the interview. The defendant claimed his Fifth Amendment rights were violated when the detective said the defendant asked to “stop speaking” during the interview.
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Judges affirm 90-year sentence for child molester

April 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a child molesting victim’s statement to her grandmother – as testified by the grandmother at trial – should not have been admitted. But, that hearsay reference did not deprive the defendant of a fair trial.
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Court upholds child molester's no-contact condition

April 4, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a man convicted of two child molesting counts didn’t have his constitutional rights violated because no double jeopardy violation occurred, and the trial judge’s probation condition that he have no contact with anyone younger than 18 is constitutional.
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Closed-circuit testimony not unconstitutional

March 27, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a man who repeatedly molested a young girl was not deprived of his right to cross-examine his accuser when she testified via closed-circuit television.
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'Vouching testimony' not allowed in child sex abuse cases

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The state’s rules of evidence don’t allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases to help determine when a youth isn’t exaggerating, and the Indiana Supreme Court won’t carve out an exception allowing for that testimony in these types of cases.
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No fundamental error in jury seeing previously dismissed counts

February 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied in part on two decades-old cases from the state Supreme Court to find that exposing the jury to dismissed charges did not deprive a defendant of a fundamentally fair trial.
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Court of Appeals reverses molestation convictions

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has thrown out a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting because the trial court erred in admitting improper vouching testimony.
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7th Circuit affirms sentence for sexual involvement with 12-year-old girl

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 135-month sentence given to a man who drove from Illinois to have sex with a 12-year-old Westfield girl, finding that although the District Court miscalculated the imprisonment range, the defendant was sentenced within the correct guidelines range.
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Judges affirm credit restricted felon status

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that because he pleaded guilty to Class B felony child molesting instead of a Class A felony, the Credit Restricted Felon Statute shouldn’t apply.
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Judges reverse felony sexual battery conviction

February 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
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.
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7th Circuit affirms man's remanded sentence

February 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 210-month sentence received by a defendant on remand for attempting to coerce or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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