Aaron D. Murray, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Jackson Circuit Court The Honorable Richard W.
Poynter, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 36C01-1507-F4-22
Attorney for Appellant R. Patrick Magrath Alcorn Sage
Schwartz & Magrath, LLP Madison, Indiana.
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Larry D. Allen Deputy Attorney General
Aaron Murray appeals the sentence imposed by the trial court
after Murray pleaded guilty to three counts of Level 4 Felony
Child Molesting,  arguing that the sentence is inappropriate
in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.
Finding that the sentence is not inappropriate, we affirm.
In 2015, forty-one-year-old Murray was employed as a math
teacher at Seymour Middle School. During the 2014-15 school
year, Murray was then-twelve-year-old K.B.'s math
teacher. Until that school year, K.B. had been an
emotionally stable child who was a good student. During the
2014-15 school year, however, K.B. began to experience
At that same time, K.B. became close to Murray, regularly
staying after school for help with homework. After it was
reported that K.B. was experiencing emotional turmoil, Murray
spoke to K.B.'s mother and stated that he and his wife
would spend time with K.B. Murray attended the same church as
K.B. and her mother, and began sitting with K.B. at church
and interacting with her there and at school. Murray also
began taking K.B. to concerts and to engage in volunteer
work, and he also began inviting her to stay overnight at his
house. He regularly sent messages to K.B. and talked with her
on the telephone.
In May 2015, Murray began spending even more time with K.B.;
often, they spent hours at a time alone together. He began
transporting K.B. to counseling sessions and even recommended
to K.B.'s parents that they find a new counselor who
would allow Murray to sit in on the sessions.
On June 15, 2015, Murray was alone with K.B. at his residence
and kissed her. He attempted to use his tongue, but K.B.
pulled away, and he apologized. Murray told K.B. that he was
attached to her. K.B. later reported that this was her first
kiss. A few days later, Murray left on vacation with his
wife, and while he was away, he incessantly contacted K.B.
through text, video, SnapChat, and Facebook messages. He told
her that he loved her, that she was beautiful, that he needed
her, and that it would not be long before they could be
On June 28, 2015, Murray returned from vacation and K.B. went
to his house to spend the day with him. He kissed K.B. while
his wife was in the next room. He confessed what had happened
to his wife, and she kicked him out of the house as a result.
In the middle of the night on June 29, 2015, K.B. woke her
mother and said she was going to talk to Murray outside. K.B.
then left with Murray, who drove to a parking lot and began
kissing her again-this time more intimately. When K.B.
resisted, Murray told her it was okay. He drove her home
around 4:00 a.m.
Later that same day, Murray returned to K.B.'s residence
with gifts for K.B., again driving her to a parking lot later
that afternoon. Eventually, they drove to an overlook where
he kissed K.B., grabbed her breasts, and massaged his hand
between her legs outside of her clothes. K.B. was
uncomfortable and moved his hand away. He also moved her hand
to stroke his penis outside of his clothing. He later told
investigators that he "felt he should take it as far as
he could with her." Appellant's App. Vol. III p. 24.
K.B.'s friend reported the molestations to K.B.'s
parents, who reported it to the police. During their
investigation, police officers noted that both Murray and
K.B. had the same Facebook profile picture, which was a
picture of the two of them. Even after the molestations were
disclosed, Murray continued to contact K.B. regularly.
On July 16, 2015, the State charged Murray with three counts
of Level 4 felony child molesting. A no contact order was put
in place that prohibited Murray from contacting K.B.
Notwithstanding the no contact order, while Murray was in
jail awaiting trial, he contacted K.B. over fifty times by
telephone, totaling over twenty hours of ...