Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Stettler v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 22, 2017

Thomas E. Stettler, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Delaware Circuit Court, The Honorable Linda Ralu Wolf, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 18C03-1212-FB-52

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ana M. Quirk Muncie, Indiana.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana J.T. Whitehead Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana.

          BAILEY, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] After a jury trial, Thomas E. Stettler ("Stettler") was convicted of Child Molesting, as a Class B felony.[1] He now appeals.

         [¶2] We affirm.

         Issues

         [¶3] Stettler raises two issues for our review, which we restate as:

I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting testimony of Stettler's victim concerning his prior conduct toward her under Ind. Evidence Rule 404(b); and
II. Whether the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct in closing argument rising to the level of fundamental error.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶4] In 2012, Stettler, then eighteen years old, lived in a house in Muncie with his mother, his fiancée, and their infant son. In prior years, Stettler and his mother had shared a house with numerous relatives, including S.Y.; S.Y.'s sister, C.Y.; and their mother.

         [¶5] On the evening of Friday, October 26, 2012, Stettler's mother invited S.Y., then twelve years old, and C.Y. to visit and to go with the family to a Halloween-themed corn maze. Because of some prior interactions with Stettler, S.Y. was somewhat hesitant to go, but eventually S.Y. and C.Y. went to Stettler's home.

         [¶6] On either that Friday or the following Saturday, the group went to the corn maze. They left the maze late in the evening, and S.Y. and C.Y. decided to sleep on the couch at Stettler's home. The two laid down side by side, each with her head at an opposite end of the couch, with S.Y. lying closer to the front edge of the couch.

         [¶7] At some point during the night, Stettler left the room he shared with his fiancée and child, and came into the living room where S.Y. and C.Y. were sleeping. After briefly standing over the couch and looking at S.Y., Stettler sat down in a chair immediately next to the couch. Stettler then pulled down S.Y.'s pants and put his penis into S.Y.'s "butt." (Tr. Vol. 2 at 89.) He also moved S.Y. and put his penis into her mouth. S.Y. pretended to be asleep during this, and Stettler stopped when S.Y. moved.

         [¶8] C.Y. had awoken briefly during the night and had seen Stettler come into the living room and look down at S.Y., but went back to sleep soon afterward. After the girls returned home on the following Sunday, S.Y. told C.Y. about what had happened that Friday. S.Y. then told her mother that she did not want to go back to Stettler's house. When S.Y.'s mother asked why, S.Y. "told her that [Stettler] was raping me." (Tr. Vol. 2 at 94.)

         [¶9] A police investigation ensued. Police interviewed Stettler and, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.