Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lannan v. State case brief

Lannan v. State case brief summary
600 N.E.2d 1334 (Ind. 1992)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant sought review of the decision of the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed his conviction of child molestation under Ind. Code Ann. § 34-42-4-3(c).

CASE FACTS
Defendant was convicted of one count of child molesting under Ind. Code Ann. § 34-42-4-3(c). A witness, also a minor, testified that defendant fondled her before he engaged in intercourse with the victim. The victim and the witness also testified that defendant had fondled them in one incident in the past and that he had molested the victim on three occasions after the alleged crime. The testimony was admitted pursuant to the depraved sexual exception. The intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court abandoned the depraved sexual exception, and held that Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) was to be used in determining whether evidence of prior sexual misconduct with children should be admitted. 
  • The court applied Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) and concluded that the testimony from the witness about the events which happened just prior to the time the charged crime did were admissible under res gestae. 
  • The court held that the other testimony of the witness and the victim was inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid. 404(b). 
  • However, the court affirmed the conviction, holding that the impact of the improper testimony was not sufficient to warrant reversal.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals, which affirmed defendant's conviction of child molestation. The court abandoned the depraved sexual exception and held that the rules of evidence were to be used in determining whether evidence of prior sexual misconduct should be admitted. The court concluded that although evidence of defendant's sexual misconduct was improperly admitted under the new rule, it did not warrant reversal.

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