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Beedy v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

August 22, 2016

Larry R. Beedy, Jr., Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Madison Circuit Court The Honorable David Happe, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 48C04-1501-FC-141

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Paul J. Podlejski Anderson, Indiana.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of Indiana Larry D. Allen Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana.

          ALTICE, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [1] Following a jury trial, Larry R. Beedy, Jr. was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 5 felony, and subsequently sentenced to six years, with three years executed in the Department of Correction, one year in community corrections, and two years suspended to probation. Beedy presents two issues for our review, one of which we find dispositive: Was Beedy erroneously precluded from asserting the affirmative defense set forth in Ind. Code § 35-42-4-9(e)[1]?

         [2] We reverse.

         Facts & Procedural History

         [3] In 2013, Beedy, then seventeen years old, and A.W., then thirteen years old, were in a dating relationship and engaged in sexual activity. As a result of their conduct, on December 6, 2013, Beedy was adjudicated a delinquent for committing acts against A.W. of child molesting and child exploitation, criminal offenses if committed by an adult.[2] Sometime between August 1 and November 6, 2014, Beedy and A.W. had sexual intercourse and conceived a child.[3] During that timeframe, A.W. turned fifteen years old and Beedy was eighteen years old.[4]

         [4] On January 30, 2015, the State charged Beedy with one count of sexual misconduct with a minor as a Level 5 felony.[5] Prior to trial, Beedy filed a motion to dismiss the charge based in part on the defense found in I.C. § 35-42-4-9(e). The State in turn filed a motion in limine seeking to preclude Beedy from raising the defense by alleging that he was disqualified due to his prior juvenile adjudications for sex offenses. The trial court held a hearing on the competing motions on June 15, 2015. After the parties presented their respective arguments, the trial court granted the State's motion in limine and denied Beedy's motion to dismiss.

         [5] The parties appeared for a subsequent hearing on July 13, 2015. On that same day, Beedy filed a memorandum in support of his motion to dismiss as well as a motion to certify the court's ruling pertaining to the "Romeo and Juliet" defense for interlocutory appeal. After additional evidence and argument regarding the applicability of the defense, the trial court again denied Beedy's request for dismissal and also denied his motion to certify the matter for interlocutory appeal.

         [6] A jury trial was held on September 2, 2015. Prior to the start of trial, Beedy renewed his motion to dismiss on the same grounds previously argued, and that motion was again denied. After the State rested, Beedy made an offer to prove regarding the defense and moved for a directed verdict on the basis that the defense applied, which the trial court denied. Beedy also submitted proposed instructions setting forth the defense, and the trial court, in keeping with its prior rulings, refused to give the instructions. The jury ultimately found Beedy guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 5 felony.[6] Beedy now appeals.

         Discussion & Decision

         [7] As a matter of first impression, we must decide whether Beedy, who has a prior adjudication for a sex offense against the same victim, can assert the defense set forth ...


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