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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ind. Decisions - "Court reverses former Central principal's conviction"

Yesterday's COA decision in Christopher Smith v. State of Indiana (ILB summary of opinion here, 3rd case) (links to many earlier posts here) is the subject of a story today in the Muncie Star Press, reported by Douglas Walker. From the long story:

MUNCIE — Former Central High School principal Christopher Smith is a convicted misdemeanant no longer.

In a 2-1 vote, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned Smith’s conviction for failing to immediately report child abuse or neglect.

During a two-day bench trial before Delaware Circuit Court 5 Judge Thomas Cannon Jr. last March, prosecutors said the then-principal violated state law when he failed to immediately notify authorities of a Central student’s claim she had been raped in a school bathroom on Nov. 9, 2010. * * *

In Wednesday’s majority decision, appeals court Judge Elaine Brown wrote that Smith’s efforts to confirm the validity of the victim’s claims before calling police were reasonable.

“An allegation that a person has engaged in child abuse is a serious claim, and a reasonable investigation made in good faith of such an allegation prior to making a report is not improper,” she wrote.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 31, 2013 09:20 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions