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Majority finds man entrapped to patronize prostitute

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a misdemeanor conviction for patronizing a prostitute, with two judges ruling the state was unable to rebut the man’s entrapment defense by showing he had a history of trying to buy sex.

Kenneth Griesemer was convicted of Class A misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute based on his interaction with an undercover detective posing as a prostitute on Washington Street in Indianapolis. He saw her, circled back in his car and asked the detective if she needed a ride. Detective Tabatha McLemore declined, saying she was trying to make money. She asked how much money he had and then told him what she would perform for $20. She said he could pick her up down the street, where he was arrested by police. During this interaction, Griesemer simply nodded in response to McLemore’s questions.

Griesemer argued in Kenneth Griesemer v. State of Indiana, 49A04-1308-CR-382, that his conviction should be reversed because he was entrapped. The judges found he established police inducement, so the burden of proof shifted to the state to demonstrate that the conduct was not the result of police efforts or that Griesemer had a predisposition to commit the crime.

The state argued Shelton v. State, 679 N.E.2d 499, 502 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997), supports that police merely afforded Griesemer an opportunity to commit a crime, so the state may not have induced his criminal behavior. In Shelton, two brothers were charged with road hunting for stopping their vehicle on the side of the road and shooting at a deer decoy set up by police.

“We cannot, however, hold that the facts herein are analogous to those in Shelton. Detective McLemore was not merely standing on the side of the road dressed like a prostitute. She was the first to mention money, a sex act, and the possibility of exchanging the two. For Shelton to be analogous, the deer decoy would have needed a sign or recording announcing to passers-by that they were welcome to shoot at the deer for twenty dollars,” Judge Melissa May wrote. “As the deer decoy contained no such explicit invitation to commit criminal behavior, we decline the State’s invitation to follow Shelton. Detective McLemore’s question and statements were sufficient to induce Griesemer to commit patronizing a prostitute.”

The state did not present any evidence to demonstrate Griesemer was predisposed to patronizing a prostitute, so it did not rebut his defense of entrapment, the majority held.

Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented, writing, “I believe that the State proved that Griesemer was predisposed to commit the offense because the State established that Griesemer was not reluctant to commit the offense.”

She did not agree with the majority’s suggestion that in order to demonstrate predisposition, the state needed to show Griesemer has a history of patronizing prostitutes or is familiar with the jargon of the prostitution business.
 

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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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