from the Harrison Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
31D01-1602-F4-82 The Honorable Joseph L. Claypool, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Matthew J. McGovern Anderson, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Lyubov Gore Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
Jessie Grimes ("Grimes") was convicted in Harrison
Superior Court of eighteen counts of Level 4 felony incest,
two counts of Level 6 felony dissemination of matter harmful
to minors, and one count of Level 6 felony obstruction of
justice. He was ordered to serve an aggregate sentence of 111
years in the Department of Correction. Grimes appeals his
convictions and sentence and argues:
I. Whether the trial court committed fundamental error when
it denied Grimes's motion to dismiss the charging
information because it failed to notify him of the specific
allegations against him;
II. Whether the trial court erred when it denied Grimes's
motion to sever the obstruction of justice charge;
III. Whether the trial court abused its discretion by
ordering the sentences for each count to be served
consecutively and by finding certain aggravating
IV. Whether Grimes's 111-year aggregate sentence is
inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the
character of the offender.
and Procedural History
Grimes is the father of A.G., D.G., and J.G., and in 2015,
the children lived with Grimes and his girlfriend, Ashleigh
Keck ("Keck"). In August 2015, S.G. was fourteen
and started the seventh grade, and her sister D.G. turned ten
in October 2015.
In the summer or fall of 2015, Grimes showed a pornographic
movie to S.G. He asked S.G. questions about the sexual acts
depicted in the movie and whether she knew how to perform
Keck moved out of Grimes's home in November 2015. Shortly
thereafter, Grimes showed a video to ten-year-old D.G.
showing a male and female touching each other under their
clothes. D.G. knew the video was inappropriate and tried not
to watch it. Grimes instructed D.G. not to tell anyone about
Also, in November 2015, Grimes punished S.G. by making her
touch his penis. Grimes established a Facebook account under
a fake name and sent S.G. pictures of his penis. S.G. also
met a girl on Facebook who refused to video chat with her,
but told S.G. that she was having sex with her father. The
girl encouraged S.G. to have sex with Grimes and sent S.G.
bible verses that the girl claimed gave daughters permission
to have sexual intercourse with their fathers. In this same
month, Grimes also took S.G. to purchase birth control.
At the end of November 2015, Grimes began to have sexual
intercourse with S.G. S.G. was later able to describe more
than eighteen separate incidents of sexual intercourse
between herself and Grimes. They also performed oral sex on
each other. In addition, Grimes had unprotected sex with S.G.
when she remembered to take her birth control. Grimes told
S.G. that he could go to jail if anyone knew that they had
sexual intercourse and to keep it a secret between them. On
one occasion, Grimes also recorded himself having sex with
S.G. because Grimes wanted S.G. to "see how [she] was
like porn." Tr. Vol. I, p. 212. During this time, Grimes
also purchased a vibrator for S.G.
On February 5, 2016, S.G. told a school official that she was
having sexual intercourse with Grimes. S.G. and her siblings
were removed from Grimes's home and placed with their
paternal grandmother. Grimes was arrested a few days later
and charged with twenty counts of Level 4 felony incest,
twenty counts of Level 6 felony sexual misconduct with a
minor, and two counts of Level 6 felony dissemination of
matter harmful to minors.
While he was in jail awaiting trial, Grimes asked his former
girlfriend Keck to access S.G.'s Facebook account and
send a group message to S.G.'s friends. Keck did not know
how to send a group message, and Grimes instructed her to ask
her thirteen-year-old son. When Keck finally agreed to send
the message, Grimes gave Keck S.G.'s username, password,
dictated the message and told Keck what time to send it. Keck
sent the following message from S.G.'s Facebook account
to S.G.'s friend from church, Grimes's stepsister,
and S.G.'s former boyfriend:
Everything is working. They are believing it all. I will be
out of here and we will be together. This new school sucks.
My grandma is still not [believing] me but when they find the
stuff I planted. My dad is [staying] in jail for a long time.
Love you. I told you everything what Lisa said to.
Ex. Vol., State's Ex. 6. Grimes's stepsister, a
recipient of the message, disclosed it to an attorney
involved in the criminal proceeding.
Thereafter, on April 11, 2016, the State charged Grimes with
Level 6 felony obstruction of justice. Grimes filed a motion
to sever the charge from the remaining charges, arguing that
the offense was not of the same or similar character of the
other charged acts. The trial court denied the motion. The
trial court also denied Grimes's separately filed motion
to dismiss the incest and sexual misconduct with a minor
charges for lack of specificity.
Grimes's four-day jury trial commenced on June 14, 2016.
During trial, the trial court granted the State's motion
to dismiss two counts of incest and two counts of sexual
misconduct with a minor. The jury found Grimes guilty of the
The sentencing hearing was held on August 29, 2016. The trial
court vacated the eighteen sexual misconduct with a minor
counts for double jeopardy reasons. Grimes was then ordered
to serve consecutive six-year sentences for each of the
eighteen Level 4 felony incest convictions, a total of 108
years. He was also ordered to serve consecutive one-year
terms for each of the two Level 6 felony convictions for
dissemination of matter harmful to minors and the single
Level 6 felony obstruction of justice conviction. In the
aggregate, Grimes was ordered to serve a 111-year sentence in
the Department of Correction. Grimes now appeals his
convictions and sentence.
in the Charging Information
Grimes argues that the twenty counts of incest in the
charging information lack specific facts to distinguish each
charged count from the others, and therefore, he was not
given sufficient notice of the charges against him. Indiana
Code section 35-34-1-2 provides that the charging information
shall state "the nature and elements of the offense
charged in plain and concise language without unnecessary
repetition" and contain "a plain, concise, and
definite written statement of the essential facts
constituting the offense charged." I.C. §
35-34-l-2(a)(4), (d). The purpose of a charging information
is to advise the defendant of the particular offense charged
so that he can prepare a defense and be protected from being
twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense. Leggs v.
State, 966 N.E.2d 204, 207 (Ind.Ct.App. 2012).
"The State is not required to include detailed factual
allegations in a charging information." Laney v.
State, 868 N.E.2d 561, 567 (Ind.Ct.App. 2007),
trans. denied. "An information that enables an
accused, the court, and the jury to determine the crime for
which conviction is sought satisfies due process. Errors in
the information are fatal only if they mislead the defendant
or fail to give him notice of the charge filed against
him." Dickenson v. State, 835 N.E.2d 542, 550
(Ind.Ct.App. 2005) (citations omitted), trans.
denied. "[W]here a charging instrument may lack
appropriate factual detail, additional materials such as the
probable cause affidavit supporting the charging instrument
may be taken into account in assessing whether a defendant
has been apprised of the charges against him." State
v. Laker, 939 N.E.2d 1111, 1113 (Ind.Ct.App. 2010),
The trial court may dismiss a charging information if it
"does not state the offense with sufficient
certainty" or if the "facts stated do not
constitute an offense." Ind. Code § 35-34-l-4. But
a defendant charged with a felony must file such motion no
later than twenty days before the omnibus date. Id.
Grimes concedes ...