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Mom's promoting prostitution sentence stands

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 17-year sentence for a woman convicted of prostituting her daughter, finding her sentence was appropriate and that an even longer sentence could be justified.

In Tina Sue Day v. State of Indiana, No. 36A05-0804-CR-219, the appellate court made it clear it found Tina Day's sentence to be appropriate for someone "who accepted cash in exchange for allowing multiple men to molest her twelve-year-old daughter," wrote Judge Melissa May.

Day pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution and the judge imposed the 17-year sentence after finding four aggravators: her daughter's age, the great harm caused to the child, Day's position as mother, and her daughter being no match for the people to which she was sold. The only mitigator was Day's lack of criminal history.

Day challenged her sentence, claiming the trial court failed to consider her "poverty, mental illness, personality disorders, and alcoholism" when it determined her character. Even though she failed to develop an argument and waived her appeal, the Court of Appeals still found nothing about her sentence to be inappropriate. The Department of Child Services had investigated Day several times in the past for neglect and removed a child from her home due to medical neglect, wrote Judge May.

"Accordingly, despite any other problems she may have, Day's abuse of her twelve-year old daughter reflects a pattern of behavior, not a mere misstep by a woman with otherwise good character," she wrote. "No amount of poverty, physical illness, or mental illness can justify selling a child's body for men's sexual pleasure, and the character of any person who could do so justifies a sentence of seventeen years, if not more."

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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