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3 of former corrections officer’s convictions upheld by appeals court

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A former corrections officer at the Marion County Jail who tried to get a co-worker to fool around with him had three of his four convictions stemming from their interactions upheld Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges reversed one sexual battery conviction because the proof didn’t support Maurice Frazier’s Class D felony conviction.

In Maurice Frazier v. State of Indiana, 49A05-1210-CR-526, Frazier challenged his convictions of Class D felonies criminal confinement, official misconduct and two counts of sexual battery. In one incident, Frazier grabbed the shoulder of female Marion County Sheriff’s deputy S.R. and ground his pelvis against her buttocks. Several weeks later, he came into the control center where S.R. was working and tried to get her to come with him somewhere that the cameras wouldn’t be able to record. When S.R. tried to leave, he grabbed her arm a couple of times. After she sat back down, he grabbed her breast and put her hand on his crotch. S.R. reported the incident the next day.

The judges agreed with Frazier that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support one of his Class D felony sexual battery convictions – the one where he pushed his pelvis into S.R. The state didn’t prove compulsion by force or imminent threat of force on this count. The state did prove at trial that Frazier committed Class A misdemeanor battery, so the trial court should enter judgment on this count as the misdemeanor and resentence him accordingly, Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote.

The appeals court also rejected Frazier’s claims that his convictions violate double jeopardy principles. His sexual battery convictions occurred weeks apart and were not based upon one incident, Vaidik pointed out. In addition, although the criminal confinement and second sexual battery charge stem from the incident in the control center, the criminal confinement charge is based on Frazier grabbing S.R.’s arm several times as she tried to move away from him. The sexual battery charge was based on his grabbing her breast and hand and placing it on his crotch.

Finally, Frazier argued his official misconduct conviction is double jeopardy because the same evidence was used to convict him of sexual battery. But there are separate victims in this case – S.R. was the victim of the battery and the public was the victim of the official misconduct, Vaidik wrote.

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