ILNews

Negative drug test, prior accusations don’t change molester’s convictions

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the child molesting convictions and 30-year sentence of a man who claimed he was prejudiced because the trial court declined to admit a drug test from the victim showing she had no marijuana in her system.

The 11-year-old victim told authorities that John Barnhart, her mother’s live-in boyfriend, had molested her. She also claimed he had given her marijuana several times, including the night before he molested her.

Barnhart was convicted of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession, but he was found not guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to an aggregate 30 years in prison.

At trial in Noble Superior Court, the state’s motion to exclude the evidence of the drug test was granted over Barnhart’s objection. Barnhart said the test results went to the victim’s credibility.

In  John Barnhart v. State of Indiana, 57A04-1312-CR-601, the appeals court noted the evidence against Barnhart supporting his convictions included his sperm on the child’s bed sheet.

"Even assuming that the court abused its discretion, we cannot say that Barnhart’s substantial rights were affected. The evidence directly related to Count IV, contributing to the delinquency of a minor as a class A misdemeanor, of which the jury found Barnhart not guilty," Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel.

Barnhart also was unable to persuade the appellate court that the trial court erred in considering accusations for prior uncharged acts at sentencing.

“Even assuming that the trial court abused its discretion with respect to acknowledging Barnhart’s knowledge of prior accusations, we observe that the court also found three other aggravators which Barnhart does not challenge,” Brown wrote. "In light of the remaining aggravators, we can say with confidence that the trial court would have imposed the same advisory and concurrent sentences for Counts I and II had it considered only these aggravators.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

ADVERTISEMENT