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Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 13, 2015

Latoyia Smith, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

As Corrected May 28, 2015.

As Corrected July 27, 2015.

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Clayton Graham, Judge. The Honorable Steven Rubick, Magistrate. Cause No. 49G17-1307-CM-47880.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Barbara J. Simmons, Oldenburg, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Karl M. Scharnberg, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Riley, Judge. Bailey, J. and Barnes, J. concur.

OPINION

Page 253

Riley, Judge.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

[¶1] Appellant-Respondent, Latoyia Smith (Smith), appeals her conviction for battery, a Class A misdemeanor, Ind. Code § 35-42-2-1 (a)(1)(A) (2012).

[¶2] We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶3] Smith raises one issue on appeal, which we restate as: Whether there was sufficient evidence to support her misdemeanor battery conviction.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶4] Smith is the mother of a teenage daughter, J.W., born in May 1999. In the spring of 2013, J.W. was thirteen years old. Going through J.W.'s electronic devices, Smith discovered that J.W. was having conversations with boys on social media sites that were " very sexual in nature." (Transcript p. 128). Smith observed that in most conversations, J.W. was " the aggressor" ; J.W. " was sexting[,] sending naked pictures of herself to guys, [and] talking to random people on the internet." (Tr. pp. 120, 128). In addition, J.W. was sneaking away from home and would arrange to meet with boys at nearby parks. In an attempt to correct J.W.'s behavior, Smith imposed a progression of discipline measures. Smith removed J.W. from public school and placed her in a private Christian school. Smith took all of J.W.'s clothes and left her with " sweats and polo shirts." (Tr. p. 128). Smith took away J.W.'s electronic devices, and also had J.W. deactivate her social media accounts. Concerned for her daughter's safety, Smith had J.W.'s stepfather advise J.W. of the dangers of interacting with random boys on the internet.

[¶5] In the last week of April 2013, and despite grounding J.W., Smith allowed J.W. to go on a school field trip to Washington D.C. On that field trip, J.W. came into possession of an iPod through a friend. Unbeknownst to Smith, J.W. reactivated many of her social media accounts. Shortly after the trip, Smith went to J.W.'s bedroom in the middle of the ...


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