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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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