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Kayser v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

August 23, 2019

Ronald E. Kayser, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the LaPorte Circuit Court The Honorable Thomas Alevizos, Judge Trial Court Cause Nos. 46C01-1709-F6-853, 46C01-1711-F5-1068.

          Attorney for Appellant James Harper Deputy Public Defender Harper & Harper, LLC Valparaiso, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Samuel J. Dayton Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Pyle, Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Ronald Kayser ("Kayser") appeals the sentences imposed in two separate causes. Kayser pled guilty to Level 6 felony failure to register as a sex or violent offender[1] in one cause and to Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor[2] in a second cause. The trial court imposed a two-year sentence for Kayser's Level 6 felony conviction and a five-year sentence for his Level 5 felony conviction, and it ordered the sentences to be served consecutively to each other. Kayser argues that: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in its determination of aggravating circumstances and by ordering consecutive sentences; and (2) his aggregate sentence is inappropriate. Concluding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion and that Kayser's sentence is not inappropriate, we affirm his sentence.

         [¶2] We affirm.

         Issues

1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when sentencing Kayser.
2. Whether Kayser's sentence is inappropriate.

         Facts [3]

         [¶3] In 2001, Kayser was convicted in Florida of a sex offense involving child fondling, which was a second-degree felony. Thereafter, he was required to register on a sex and violent offender registry, which he did when residing in Indiana. Under the registry, he was also required, among other things, to notify the sheriff's department within seventy-two hours of any change in his employment.

         [¶4] In February 2017, Kayser was fired from his job. Thereafter, in March 2017, he started working at a new job. Kayser never notified the sheriff's department of either change in employment. Five months later, the sheriff's department learned that Kayser had changed employment and had not reported it. In September 2017, the State charged Kayser, under cause 46C01-1709-F6-853 ("Cause F6-853"), with Level 6 felony failure to register based on his failure to notify law enforcement of his change of employment.

         [¶5] On October 20, 2017, prior to his arrest in Cause F6-853, Kayser, who was fifty-nine years old at that time, touched and fondled the buttocks and vaginal area of a fifteen-year-old girl in order to arouse or satisfy his sexual desires. Specifically, Kayser was riding his bicycle when he saw two teenage girls, J.B. and F.B., who were locked out of F.B.'s house and trying to get into the window. Kayser stopped, approached the girls, and offered to lift J.B. into the window. As he lifted J.B., Kayser touched and rubbed the girl's buttocks and vaginal area for about fifteen seconds. Once both girls were inside the house, they saw Kayser masturbating in the yard outside the window. In November 2017, the State charged Kayser, under cause 46C01-1711-F5-1068 ("Cause F5-1068"), with Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class A misdemeanor public indecency.

         [¶6] On September 28, 2018, Kayser entered a plea agreement in Cause F5-1068. Kayser agreed to plead guilty to the Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor in exchange for the State's dismissal of the Class A misdemeanor public indecency charge. The plea agreement provided that the State would "remain silent" at the sentencing hearing. (App. Vol. 2 at 23). The trial court ordered a presentence investigation report ...


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