APPEAL FROM THE PERRY CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Karen A. Werner, Magistrate. Cause No. 62C01-1309-FC-575.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, ANGELA N. SANCHEZ, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: CARA SCHAEFER WIENEKE, Special Assistant to the State Public Defender, Wieneke Law Office, LLC, Plainfield, Indiana.
BAKER, Judge. KIRSCH, J., and ROBB, J., concur.
The State of Indiana appeals the trial court's order granting Jacob Wroe's motion to suppress all evidence related to a polygraph examination Wroe had taken, including the stipulation to its admissibility signed by Wroe and the State. Although we acknowledge the concerns raised by Wroe regarding the agreement that he signed, and have significant reservations about the reliability of polygraph examinations and their admissibility in court, we are compelled by precedent to reverse the trial court's order.
In July 2013, the Department of Child Services (DCS) received a report that three-year-old I.B., Wroe's niece, had disclosed that Wroe had touched her vaginal area in late June 2013. DCS informed the Tell City Police Department, which opened an investigation. On July 19, 2013, Lieutenant Detective Alan Malone conducted a forensic interview of I.B., who repeated the allegations regarding Wroe.
On July 29, 2013, Wroe voluntarily met with Lieutenant Malone at the police station. During that meeting, Wroe volunteered to take a polygraph test regarding I.B.'s accusations. In a prior criminal case against him, Wroe had taken and passed a polygraph test, resulting in the dismissal of all charges against him.
On July 31, 2013, Wroe returned to the police department for the polygraph examination. Police Chief Gregory Hendershot met with Wroe to go over the stipulation and agreement (the " Stipulation" ) to be signed before the polygraph. Chief Hendershot read the document to Wroe out loud, as well as making it available for Wroe to read. Among other things, Chief Hendershot asked Wroe if he understood the terms of the Stipulation. Wroe stated that he did understand the document and then signed it. The prosecuting attorney's signature also appears on the document. In pertinent part, the Stipulation provides as follows:
1. Jacob A. Wroe requests to take a polygraph examination.
2. Jacob A. Wroe understands that [he] has the right to remain silent and anything [he] says can and will be used against [him] in a [c]ourt of law.
3. Jacob A. Wroe understands that [he] has the right to an attorney and that if [he] cannot afford an attorney, the Court would appoint one for [him].
5. Jacob A. Wroe voluntarily agrees to take a polygraph examination to be administered by a polygraph examiner of the Indiana State police.
7. Jacob A. Wroe voluntarily waives the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination . . . .
9. The examiner is acknowledged to be a qualified polygraph examiner ...