ILNews

Man’s child molesting conviction upheld

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The Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged that although a defendant did not receive a perfect trial, it is confident that Steven Malloch received a fair trial on a charge of Class A felony child molesting relating to his stepdaughter.

Malloch was accused of fondling C.P.’s breast and inserting a finger in her vagina in 2003 and 2004, which he claimed happened when he was sleeping and sharing a bed with the girl. The molestation allegations did not come to light until nearly five years later. Malloch was questioned by DeKalb County Sheriff’s detective Donald Lauer. The two interviews were videotaped. During the second interview, Malloch admitted to touching the girl’s vagina while he was awake and wrote an apology letter to C.P.

Malloch was originally charged with two counts of child molesting, but one was dismissed for statute of limitations. After a mistrial at his first trial, Malloch was convicted of the Class A felony in September 2011.

Malloch raised five issues on appeal, including whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a continuance made three days before his second trial;  whether the court erred by admitting Malloch’s statements in the recorded interviews, in which he ultimately confessed; and whether the state committed prosecutorial misconduct amounting to fundamental error.

After his mistrial, Malloch wanted to call a doctor as a sleep expert who had treated Malloch, but the doctor would not be able to testify at the trial. The trial court denied the continuance. The record here is devoid of any indication that the doctor ever intended to appear and Malloch made no record as to when the doctor would be able to testify.

The judges found no abuse of discretion in admitting Malloch’s statements. He never unambiguously and unequivocally invocated the right to counsel and his statements in both interviews were voluntary.

The appellate court found the state did not predispose the jury against him and that the state’s improper impeachment of Malloch’s wife and C.P.’s mother did not place Malloch in grave peril.

“We have concluded, however, that at most, only two isolated, brief remarks during closing argument constituted prosecutorial misconduct. These instances must be viewed in light of the evidence at trial, which included C.P.’s testimony and Malloch’s confession. The jury was able to view the interactions between Malloch and Detective Lauer during both interviews and could thus evaluate the voluntariness of Malloch’s confession against his claim of coercion and sexsomnia. Although Malloch did not receive a perfect trial, we are confident that he received a fair trial,” Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote in Steven E. Malloch v. State of Indiana, 17A03-1201-CR-37.

 

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  • Prosecutor immunity
    This is just one more example how the law and the courts favor prosecutors. There were only two incidents of prosecutorial conduct, brief remarks were made in closing arguments. Remarks no matter how brief can sway a jury to find a defendant guilty, when abscence of the remarks might have induced a not guilty verdict. Remarks like the ones in question are not made accidentally, they are made intentionally because we all know that the jury does not disregard remarks just because the judge says to. The prosecution knows this only too well! Please google the Infallible Prosecutor and you will have a different opinion of justice!

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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