Bennett v. State, No. 3-580A123

Docket NºNo. 3-580A123
Citation409 N.E.2d 1189
Case DateSeptember 22, 1980
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 1189

409 N.E.2d 1189
William BENNETT, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
No. 3-580A123.
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Third District.
Sept. 22, 1980.

Page 1190

Edward G. Hilgendorf, South Bend, for appellant-defendant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Carmen L. Quintana, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee-plaintiff.

STATON, Judge.

A jury found William Bennett guilty of child molesting. 1 Bennett was sentenced to the Indiana Department of Correction for a period of ten years.

On appeal, Bennett raises two issues for our review:

(1) Was there sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict?

(2) Did the trial court abuse its discretion in finding the six-year old prosecuting witness competent to testify?

We affirm.

I.

Sufficiency of Evidence

Bennett contends that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for child molesting. When the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged, this Court will consider only that evidence which is most favorable to the State with all logical and reasonable inferences that may be drawn therefrom. The judgment will be affirmed if there is substantial evidence of probative value that supports the jury's verdict. This Court cannot weigh the evidence or assess the credibility of the witnesses in its review. Scott v. State (1980), Ind.App., 404 N.E.2d 1190, 1193-94.

The evidence most favorable to the State reveals that on October 30, 1978, Bennett's mother was babysitting for the prosecuting witness, who was five years old at the time, and her younger brother. The prosecuting witness testified that Bennett engaged in anal intercourse with her while his mother was out of the house. Dr. Spalding, the treating physician, examined the prosecuting witness on the day of the incident and found multiple lacerations and bleeding of her anus. Larry Huys, a forensic serologist,

Page 1191

found semen in the crotch area of the prosecuting witness' panties. Both Dr. Spalding and Corporal Vervynckt, the investigating officer, related separate conversations they had with the prosecuting witness on the day of the incident in which the prosecuting witness stated that Bennett committed an act of anal intercourse with her and forced her to perform an act of fellatio upon him. Nurse Bitter, who was present during Dr. Spalding's conversation with the prosecuting witness, and the prosecuting witness' mother, who was present during both conversations, also heard the prosecuting witness state that Bennett subjected her to acts of sodomy.

The uncorroborated testimony of the prosecuting witness is sufficient to sustain a conviction for child molesting. Gregory v. State (1980), Ind.App., 408 N.E.2d 594, (1980); Smith v. State (1978), Ind.App., 372 N.E.2d 511, 516. In the present case, the prosecuting witness identified Bennett at trial as the person who subjected her to anal intercourse. Dr. Spalding and Corporal Vervynckt, as well as the medical and forensic evidence...

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11 practice notes
  • Meisberger v. State, No. 53A01-9307-CR-243
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 26, 1994
    ...226 Ind. 57, 77 N.E.2d 750. Any lack of certainty as to identity goes to weight, not admissibility. Teague, 379 N.E.2d at 430; Scott, 409 N.E.2d at 1189. The record in this case contains ample circumstantial evidence, in addition to the testimony of Dr. Roberts, from which the jury could ha......
  • Newton v. State, No. 2-283A65
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 29, 1983
    ...See Staton v. State, (1981) Ind., 428 N.E.2d 1203; Bowers v. State, (1982) Ind.App., 435 N.E.2d 309; Bennett v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 409 N.E.2d 1189; Fox v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 413 N.E.2d 665. The further probe into a child's mental competency to perceive, to remember and to narrate ......
  • McCoy v. State, No. 48A04-8907-CR-00312
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 25, 1991
    ...is sufficient to support a conviction. See Morrison v. State (1984), Ind., 462 N.E.2d 78, 79; Bennett v. State (1980), Ind.App., 409 N.E.2d 1189, 1191. Here, given the physician's testimony that WDW had most likely experienced intercourse, and McCoy's initial statement to Louisiana police t......
  • Jones v. State, No. 182S33
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 23, 1983
    ...molesting even though the victim is a minor. Smith v. State, (1982) Ind., 432 N.E.2d 1363, 1372; Bennett v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 409 N.E.2d 1189, 1190; Gregory v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 408 N.E.2d 594, 596. It is also well settled that we do not judge the credibility of witnesses as a c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Meisberger v. State, No. 53A01-9307-CR-243
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 26, 1994
    ...226 Ind. 57, 77 N.E.2d 750. Any lack of certainty as to identity goes to weight, not admissibility. Teague, 379 N.E.2d at 430; Scott, 409 N.E.2d at 1189. The record in this case contains ample circumstantial evidence, in addition to the testimony of Dr. Roberts, from which the jury could ha......
  • Newton v. State, No. 2-283A65
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 29, 1983
    ...See Staton v. State, (1981) Ind., 428 N.E.2d 1203; Bowers v. State, (1982) Ind.App., 435 N.E.2d 309; Bennett v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 409 N.E.2d 1189; Fox v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 413 N.E.2d 665. The further probe into a child's mental competency to perceive, to remember and to narrate ......
  • McCoy v. State, No. 48A04-8907-CR-00312
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 25, 1991
    ...is sufficient to support a conviction. See Morrison v. State (1984), Ind., 462 N.E.2d 78, 79; Bennett v. State (1980), Ind.App., 409 N.E.2d 1189, 1191. Here, given the physician's testimony that WDW had most likely experienced intercourse, and McCoy's initial statement to Louisiana police t......
  • Jones v. State, No. 182S33
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 23, 1983
    ...molesting even though the victim is a minor. Smith v. State, (1982) Ind., 432 N.E.2d 1363, 1372; Bennett v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 409 N.E.2d 1189, 1190; Gregory v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 408 N.E.2d 594, 596. It is also well settled that we do not judge the credibility of witnesses as a c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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