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Prosecutor’s closing argument deprived defendant of fair trial

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A man convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor will get a new trial after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the prosecutor’s zealous statements made to a jury during closing arguments deprived the man of a fair trial.

In Bruce Ryan v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1211-CR-932, the Court of Appeals concluded the prosecutor committed misconduct that resulted in a fundamental error. Subsequently, it reversed Ryan’s two convictions for Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor and remanded for a new trial.

“We have concluded that the prosecutor improperly commented on Ryan’s constitutional right to a jury trial; improperly disparaged defense counsel, the role of defense counsel, and our system of justice; improperly urged the jury to convict Ryan for reasons other than his guilt; and improperly vouched for Z.W-B.’s truthfulness,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the court. “The State argues that no fundamental error occurred because the evidence of sexual misconduct was overwhelming and demonstrates that the results would have been the same without the prosecutor’s comments. We are unpersuaded.”

Ryan was convicted of two counts of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor after Z.W-B’s parents discovered emails from Ryan to their daughter and allegations of a romantic relationship emerged.

The COA found the state did not provide independent evidence that Ryan performed or submitted to touching Z.W-B in order to arouse or satisfy their sexual desires. Instead, the prosecutor made a series of statements that taken together deprived Ryan of a fair trial.







 

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  2. Oh, and you fail to mention that you deprived the father of far FAR more time than he ever did you, even requiring officers to escort the children back into his care. Please, can you see that you had a huge part in "starting the war?" Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

  3. Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

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