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Justices take molestation case that divided Court of Appeals

December 8, 2014

The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a Marion County case that split the Court of Appeals as to whether the man’s Class A felony conviction for molesting his girlfriend’s daughter should be upheld.

The majority found contents of a phone call between Marq Hall and his girlfriend, A.D., should not have been excluded. The two discussed how to impeach the victim, including A.D. saying that her daughter claimed a boy in Kentucky “did something to her.”

“In essence, the State used the phone call as a sword to attack Hall’s credibility, while it simultaneously used the motion in limine as a shield to immunize A.D. from cross-examination, to bolster A.D.’s false testimony, which went to her credibility, and to keep Hall from answering questions to rebut the State’s attack. The State cannot have it four ways. The trial court abused its discretion when it excluded the proffered evidence,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the majority.

Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik believed the error to be harmless, so the conviction should be upheld.

The case is Marq Hall v. State of Indiana, 49S05-1412-CR-728.

The justices declined transfer to 13 other cases for the week ending Dec. 5.

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