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Justices affirm teen’s 60-year sentence for assault on jogger

June 29, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court declined to revise a teenager’s sentence for attempting to rape a woman running in Fort Wayne in 2012, finding the 60-year sentence is not inappropriate.

Walik Whiteside was 15 when he attacked A.B. as she ran. He tried to put his penis in her vagina and also forced it inside her mouth. He fled when another runner approached. Whiteside wasn’t caught until 2015 when DNA taken from him as a result of a later robbery conviction linked him to the assault.

Whiteside was waived into adult court and convicted of Class B felony attempted rape, two counts of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, and Class D felony sexual battery. The judge vacated the sexual battery conviction on double jeopardy grounds and imposed an aggregate 60-year sentence, to be served consecutively to his robbery sentence.

Whiteside appealed, and the Court of Appeals revised his sentence to a total of 30 years, to be served consecutively to the robbery sentence.

The state sought transfer to the Supreme Court, which the justices granted Thursday. In a per curiam decision, the court declined to revise Whiteside’s sentence under Ind. Appellate Rule 7(B).

“Our collective judgment is that the sentence imposed by the trial court in this case is not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B) and does not warrant appellate revision. Accordingly, we grant transfer, affirm the sentence imposed by the trial court, and summarily affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in all other respects,” the justices wrote in Walik L. Whiteside v. State of Indiana, 02S05-1706-CR-441.

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