from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Helen W.
Marchal, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 49G15-1507-F6-26077
Attorney for Appellant Valerie K. Boots Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Caryn N. Szyper Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
Richard Dobeski appeals following his conviction for failure
to register as a sex offender. Under the terms of the
applicable statute, Dobeski was required to register
"not more than seven (7) days after" his release
from prison. Ind. Code § 11-8-8-7(g). On appeal, Dobeski
argues that the State presented insufficient evidence to
support his conviction because seven days had not yet elapsed
at the time he was arrested.
We reverse and remand with instructions to vacate
& Procedural History
In 2008, Dobeski was convicted of class C felony child
molesting and class D felony possession of child pornography.
He was sentenced to an aggregate term of eleven years.
Pursuant to Indiana law, Dobeski was required to register as
a sex offender upon his release from custody.
Dobeski was released from New Castle Correctional Facility on
July 16, 2015. A "Transportation Detail" form
introduced into evidence at trial indicates that a transport
van carrying Dobeski and seven other inmates left the prison
at 9:30 a.m. Exhibit Volume, State's Ex. 5. The
form indicates that the van both arrived in and departed from
"Indy" at 11:15 a.m., but nevertheless managed to
drop off seven inmates while there. Id. The van then
travelled to Portland, Indiana, where it dropped off its last
passenger at 1:30 p.m. before arriving back at the prison at
2:30 p.m. The form does not indicate which inmates were
dropped off at which location. No evidence was presented
concerning what further processing, if any, the inmates
underwent at their destination before they were free to go.
A sergeant with the Marion County Sheriff's Office
checked the sex offender database "sometime after 1:00
in the afternoon" on July 23, 2015, and found that
Dobeski had not yet registered. Transcript at 10. At
some point between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. that same day, a
sheriff's deputy located Dobeski at the Indianapolis
Public Library and placed him under arrest for failure to
register as a sex offender.
At trial, the State argued that seven days had elapsed
between Dobeski's release and his arrest. Specifically,
the State argued that the evidence showed that Dobeski was
released at 11:15 a.m. on July 16, 2015, and arrested between
2:00 and 2:30 p.m. on July 23, 2015. According to the State,
the "days" referred to in the statute were
twenty-four-hour periods, beginning with the moment Dobeski
was released from prison. In other words, Dobeski had
precisely 168 hours to register. Thus, the State argued
Dobeski was in violation of the statute when he failed to
register by 11:15 a.m. on July 23, 2015. Dobeski, on the
other hand, argued that the statute gave him seven full
calendar days to register, and that he therefore had until
midnight on July 23, 2015 to do so. Consequently, Dobeski
argued, his arrest was premature. The trial court ultimately
accepted the State's argument. Dobeski now appeals.
In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence,
we neither reweigh the evidence nor judge the credibility of
witnesses. Atteberry v. State, 911 N.E.2d 601, 609
(Ind.Ct.App. 2009). Instead, we consider only the evidence
supporting the conviction and the reasonable inferences
flowing therefrom. Id. If there is substantial
evidence of probative value from which a reasonable trier of
fact could have drawn the conclusion that the defendant was
guilty of the crime ...