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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 4 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Anthony Scott Bratcher v. State of Indiana, a 26-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

Anthony Scott Bratcher (“Bratcher”) appeals his sentence, following his guilty plea, for Class B felony child molesting. Bratcher also challenges the sex offender probation conditions that restrict his access to the internet and that limit his contact with children, arguing that they are vague, overbroad, and unconstitutional as applied to him. We affirm.

1. Whether Bratcher’s sentence is inappropriate pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B).
2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion by imposing sex offender probation conditions that restrict Bratcher’s access to the internet and his contact with children. * * *

[1] Bratcher has not persuaded us that his sentence is inappropriate. Therefore, we affirm the trial court’s sentence.

[2] Bratcher contends that four of his sex offender probation conditions are “unconstitutional as applied to him.” Specifically, Bratcher argues that the two probation conditions that restrict his contact and interaction with children (conditions 15 and 17) are vague or overbroad and that the two conditions relating to restrictions on his internet usage (conditions 21 and 23) are unduly intrusive. Bratcher asks that we order the trial court to vacate these four probation conditions. * * *

[W]e conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by imposing probation condition 15. [same re 17] * * *

Bratcher also challenges the following two sex offender probation conditions that limit or restrict his internet usage * * *

Bratcher contends that these probation conditions that restrict his internet usage are overbroad, unduly intrusive, and violate his First Amendment rights because they place an “entire blanket prohibition” on his access to the internet. * * *

[W]e conclude that Bratcher’s probation conditions 21 and 23 are neither overbroad or vague and that they are reasonably related to attaining the goals of rehabilitation and protecting the public. Indeed, our Court has explained that because “child molesters molest children to whom they have access[,]” conditions of probation that “reduce the potential for access to children are reasonable.” * * * Finally, contrary to Bratcher’s argument, neither condition imposes a complete prohibition on his use of the internet or social networking websites. Condition 21 simply requires him to acquire the approval of his probation officer, and condition 23 specifically applies to websites “frequented by children.” Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by imposing probation conditions 21 and 23. * * *

BARNES, J., concur.
CRONE, J., concur in part, dissent in part with opinion [which reads in full] I concur in the majority’s opinion except for the affirmance of probation condition 17. Consistent with my position in Collins, I believe that condition is unconstitutionally vague. Therefore, I respectfully dissent as to that issue.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Fawn McDonald-Woolridge v. Jacob Woolridge (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

Lindsey J. Barger v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Laray Carter v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Morgan Govan v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 19, 2013 10:11 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions