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‘Living as if a spouse’ permits woman’s domestic battery conviction

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A married woman convicted of domestic battery against a man with whom she was involved in an on-again, off-again romantic relationship couldn’t persuade an appeals court that it was a stretch to apply the criminal statute in her situation.

A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the Class D felony conviction handed down by a Whitley Superior jury and noted the domestic battery statute providing harsher penalties than non-domestic battery clearly applies to someone who “is or was living as if a spouse.” The case is Shayla Bowling v. State of Indiana, 92A03-1212-CR-553.

“Bowling claims that as a matter of law she could not be living as if a spouse with (the victim), within the meaning of the domestic battery statute, when she was married to another man. … She then asserts that ‘to permit the Domestic Battery statute to include sexual partners or extramarital affair participants would arguably, broaden the scope of the Domestic Battery statute’,” Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote for the court. “We are unpersuaded by Bowling’s slender analysis.”

The panel that included judges John Baker and Nancy Vaidik also rejected Bowling’s claim that she could not be “living as if a spouse” with another man without committing bigamy.

“Anti-bigamy laws have no relevance to the issue at hand. Further, even a cursory review of I.C. § 35-42-2-1.3(a) reveals that an individual may be subject to domestic battery charges against more than one individual at any given time. For example, an individual might have a child in common with person A (subsection (a)(3)), be a former spouse of person B (subsection (a)(1)), and be living as if a spouse with person C (subsection (a)(3)). Battering any one of these people would subject the individual to a charge of domestic battery,” Friedlander wrote.

“The fact that the defendant is legally married does not shield the defendant from the domestic battery statute if he or she batters another person with whom he or she has shared a domestic relationship. The focus must be on the defendant’s past or present relationship with the victim and whether said relationship was domestic as defined by the statute. Contrary to Bowling’s suggestion, the nature of this relationship is not defined as a matter of law by the defendant’s relationship with another individual,” the court concluded.

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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