The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a child molesting victim’s statement to her grandmother – as testified by the grandmother at trial – should not have been admitted. But, that hearsay reference did not deprive the defendant of a fair trial.
Jarrad L. Mastin was convicted of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class B felony child molesting and sentenced to 90 years for molesting his daughter beginning when she was 4 years old. The molestations came to light when the victim’s grandmother took her to the hospital because K.M. was peeing blood and in severe pain when she tried to use the bathroom. Tests showed she had Type II genital herpes. Mastin confessed to having engaged in sexual conduct with his daughter.
He appealed, claiming the admission of a statement by K.M. as told to her grandmother was hearsay; there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the convictions based upon sexual intercourse; and his sentence is inappropriate.
In Jarrad L. Mastin v. State of Indiana, No. 18A02-1109-CR-890, the judges agreed that the testimony by the grandmother that K.M. said to her that her daddy played “secret games” with her should not have been allowed. K.M. did not testify at the trial. But Mastin didn’t contemporaneously object at trial, and he claimed on appeal the admission was a fundamental error. The judges found it did not rise to that level and other evidence supported Mastin’s convictions.
Mastin also argued that there wasn’t any evidence of penetration to support his Class B felony convictions, but the statute only requires penetration by a male sex organ of the female sex organ. That can include penetration of external genitalia, wrote Judge L. Mark Bailey. There is sufficient evidence to conclude that Mastin’s sex organ penetrated his daughter’s sex organ.
The judges also upheld the 90-year sentence and found that his claim of prosecutorial misconduct is waived.