Wednesday, July 23, 2008

IN Appeals Court Rules Against Sex Offender 23 July 2008

Yesterday's Court of Appeals decision in the case of Jesse S. McCown v. State of Indiana (ILB entry here, 5th case, is the subject of a story posted this afternoon by Sophia Voravong in the Lafayette Journal Courier that begins:

A Lafayette man convicted of molesting a 14-year-old girl more than 20 years ago will have to register on Indiana's Sex and Violent Offender Registry, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

Jesse S. McCown, who was homeless at the time, was found guilty in May 2007 of two Class D felony counts of failure to register as a convicted sex offender and one misdemeanor count of failure to possess identification.

He appealed the decision by Tippecanoe Circuit Court Judge Don Daniel on grounds that his 10-year requirement to register already expired. McCown, who pleaded guilty in 1987 to two counts of child molesting, was released from prison in 1990 and from parole in 1991.

Sex with a 14-year-old is sexual misconduct with a minor under current law, but it constituted child molesting under the law that was in effect at the time of the offense.

"Our position was simply that his 10 year registration ran out a long time ago," Lafayette attorney Bruce Graham, who represented McCown on appeal, said today.

"It's not clear to me how the Court of Appeals concludes to the contrary. I've read the opinion twice now, and I still don't understand their underlying theory."

Graham said he plans to request that the case be transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court.