Melvin C. Hamilton, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
Appeal from the Posey Circuit Court. The Honorable James M. Redwine, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 65C01-1403-FA-71.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: William W. Gooden, Mt. Vernon, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Angela N. Sanchez, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Barnes, Judge. Kirsch, J., and Najam, J., concur.
[¶1] Melvin Hamilton appeals his convictions for three counts of Class A felony child molesting. We reverse and remand.
[¶2] The sole restated issue before us is whether the trial court properly allowed witnesses for the State to vouch for the credibility of the alleged victims.
[¶3] A.S. and D.P. are the foster children of Heather and Charles Reese. Hamilton is Charles's stepfather. Hamilton frequently babysat the children at his home in Posey County. In 2014, A.S. was ten, and D.P. was five. A.S. and D.P. called Hamilton " Pappy." Tr. p. 29.
[¶4] On February 24, 2014, A.S. and D.P. spent the night at Hamilton's house. During the night, D.P. awoke to Hamilton putting his finger in her " private." Id. at 46. A.S. was in the same room at the time, and Hamilton also put his finger in her " private" while D.P. watched. Id. at 56. Hamilton had done similar things to A.S. on at least five prior occasions.
[¶5] On the following morning, D.P. spontaneously told Heather that Pappy had touched her; when asked where, D.P. pointed to her vagina. Both D.P. and A.S. subsequently were interviewed by Molly Elfreich, a trained forensic interviewer, and D.P. and A.S. described the molestations to her. A medical doctor also examined D.P. and A.S., who recounted the molestations to the doctor.
[¶6] After the forensic interview and medical examination, Detective Jeremy Fortune of the Posey County Sheriff's Department interviewed Hamilton. During the interview, ...