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COA upholds molester’s sentence, registration requirement

July 19, 2012

The trial court order that a Vigo County man convicted of child molesting must register as a sexually violent predator did not violate the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution, the Court of Appeals ruled.

Bobby Harlan challenged his 10-year sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of Class B felony child molesting for acts that occurred between 1986 and 1994. Harlan admitted to molesting a girl he and his wife babysat. According to court documents, the girl’s sister, A.C., was also molested, but he was not charged in connection to her.

A.C. wore a wire while talking to Harlan that recorded his admission to molesting L.G. twice.

He also challenged the requirement he register as a sexually violent predator.

Giving deference to Supreme Court precedent on this issue as determined in Lemmon v. Harris, 949 N.E.2d 803, 809 (Ind. 2011), and Jensen v. State, 905 N.E.2d 384 (Ind. 2009), the judges found the requirement he register is not an ex post facto violation.

They also found Wallace v. State, 905 N.E.2d 371, 374-75 (Ind. 2009), doesn’t apply because Harlan committed one of his crimes after the sex offender registration requirements took effect.

The appellate court upheld his sentence and found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in the course of identifying and weighing aggravating and mitigating factors.

 

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