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COA finds victim credible, affirms rape, theft convictions

October 19, 2016

After entering a Marion County family’s home with a gun, raping the mother and robbing the family of valuable possessions, the man convicted in the case cannot have his multiple convictions overturned after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that the mother’s testimony was not incredibly dubious.

In September 2013, A.M. was sitting on her patio when three men wearing bandanas and clear plastic gloves ordered her into her house at gunpoint. She was then forced to go upstairs and join her husband and three children.

One of the three men, Ryan Clark, pointed his gun at A.M.’s face and ordered the entire family to remove their shirts after making a sexual remark about A.M.’s breasts. Then, the family was ordered to go downstairs and “strip down naked” while A.M. was held at gunpoint.

One of the other two men took A.M. down to the basement, where she was ordered to perform oral sex on all three while being held at gunpoint. Each of the three men then raped A.M., and Clark then poured soap and bleach on her “to wash all the DNA off.” He also punched her in the face.

After threatening to kill the family if they notified the police, the three men left in the family’s car with their laptops, video games and consoles and televisions. However, the family immediately contacted the police, and A.M. was able to positively identify Clark through the investigation.

Clark was convicted and sentenced to 104 years, but appealed in Ryan Clark v. State of Indiana, 49A04-1601-CR-184, arguing that the evidence was insufficient because A.M.’s testimony was incredibly dubious. During the trial, A.M. had identified Clark in court and testified that she was able to do so because she had committed his face to memory during the invasion in case the police were able to find and charge him.

In a Wednesday opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals wrote that “the incredible dubiosity rule simply does not apply in this case.” The court wrote that A.M.’s testimony was not inherently contradictory and that she never wavered in her identification of Clark. Additionally, A.M. had correctly identified a birthmark on Clark’s hip that she had noticed during the invasion.

Thus, the appellate court found that there was sufficient evidence to support Clark’s convictions.
 

 

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