Stewart v. State, No. 45S00-0011-CR-639.

Docket NºNo. 45S00-0011-CR-639.
Citation768 N.E.2d 433
Case DateMay 24, 2002
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

768 N.E.2d 433

Dale Roger STEWART, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 45S00-0011-CR-639.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

May 24, 2002.


768 N.E.2d 434
Mark A. Bates, Appellate Public Defender, Crown Point, IN, Attorney for Appellant

Karen M. Freeman-Wilson, Attorney General of Indiana, Monika Prekopa Talbot, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.

RUCKER, Justice.

After a trial by jury, Dale Roger Stewart was found guilty of child molesting as a Class A felony. He also was adjudged a habitual offender. The trial court sentenced him to fifty years for the child molesting conviction enhanced by twenty years for the habitual offender adjudication. In this direct appeal, Stewart contends the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the conviction. We disagree and therefore affirm.

Facts

The facts most favorable to the verdict show that forty-six-year-old Stewart was a family friend of Z.D.'s parents. Beginning in August 1998, Stewart visited Z.D.'s home nearly every weekend and spent the night on several occasions. During these visits, Stewart played various video and board games with Z.D., sometimes into the early morning hours. He would often bring Z.D. gifts, including candy. The then eight-year-old Z.D. and his twelveyear-old sister often visited the home of Sally Schlink, a neighbor. Schlink's two children were approximately the same ages as Z.D. and his sister. Schlink met Stewart through Z.D.'s family, and Stewart would often visit the Schlink home while Z.D. was present. Stewart spent most of these visits playing with the children, especially Z.D. In December 1998, Stewart and the children were playing together at the Schlink home. At some point Stewart and Z.D. went into a bedroom and closed the door. The two emerged shortly thereafter. After the

768 N.E.2d 435
children began teasing each other about "French kissing," Stewart left the house. R. at 90

Stewart lived in Mishawaka and had been recently released on parole after serving a period of incarceration for a child molesting conviction. Sometime shortly after the Schlink home incident, he was arrested for an unrelated parole violation and detained in the St. Joseph County jail. During an interview with his parole officer, Pamela Frederick, Stewart admitted to an "inappropriate touching" of Z.D. R. at 141. Officer Frederick notified the Lake Station Police Department, which assigned detective Ruth Smith to investigate the matter. Detective Smith talked to Z.D., who told her that Stewart touched him in his "private area"; "French kissed" him; put his mouth on his "private parts"; and tried to put his "private area" into his "butt." R. at 162. Detective Smith then interviewed Stewart about the allegations. Stewart denied "French kissing" Z.D. and claimed that any touching in the "private area" was accidental. R. at 157, 158. Stewart concluded the interview by stating, "I don't even want to argue the situation. I want to plead guilty to this." R. at 160.

At trial, then ten-year-old Z.D testified that while in the bedroom at the Schlink home, Stewart touched him in the "wrong spots," which he described as his "private spot" or "private part." R. at 115, 129.1 He further stated that Stewart's "mouth touched me in the private spot." R. at 116. Z.D. also testified that similar incidents occurred in his bedroom both before and after the incident at the Schlink home. According to Z.D., on those other occasions Stewart put "his mouth in, in the private part." R. at 119.

The jury found Stewart guilty of child molesting as a Class A felony and also adjudged him a habitual offender. Noting Stewart's six prior convictions for child molesting over the past nineteen years and characterizing him as an "incorrigible pedophile," Judge Murray sentenced Stewart to the maximum term of fifty years enhanced by twenty years for the habitual offender adjudication. R. at 287-88. This direct appeal followed.

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101 practice notes
  • Ludy v. State, No. 49S02-0303-CR-99.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 6, 2003
    ...may rest upon the uncorroborated testimony of the victim. See, e.g., Garner v. State, 777 N.E.2d 721, 725 (Ind. 2002); Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 436 (Ind.2002); Carter v. State, 754 N.E.2d 877, 880 (Ind.2001); Bowles v. State, 737 N.E.2d 1150, 1152 (Ind.2000); Jackson v. State, 735 ......
  • Hoglund v. State , No. 90S02–1105–CR–294.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 8, 2012
    ...The testimony of a sole child witness is sufficient to sustain a conviction for molestation. [962 N.E.2d 1239] Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 436 (Ind.2002). Also, as noted above, although Hoglund made a “continuing objection” to the vouching testimony of Dr. Butler, Tr. at 82, he made b......
  • Ward v. State, No. 49A02–1401–CR–25.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 15, 2014
    ...in original). Upon review, appellate courts do not reweigh the evidence or assess the credibility of the witnesses. Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 435 (Ind.2002). Indiana Code section 35–42–2–1 provides that “[a] person who knowingly or intentionally touches another person in a rude, ins......
  • Weathers v. State, No. 49A04–1601–CR–3.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 17, 2016
    ...in original). Upon review, appellate courts do not reweigh the evidence or assess the credibility of the witnesses. Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 435 (Ind.2002).29] Indiana Code section 35–47–2–1 provides that “a person shall not carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person'......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
101 cases
  • Ludy v. State, No. 49S02-0303-CR-99.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 6, 2003
    ...may rest upon the uncorroborated testimony of the victim. See, e.g., Garner v. State, 777 N.E.2d 721, 725 (Ind. 2002); Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 436 (Ind.2002); Carter v. State, 754 N.E.2d 877, 880 (Ind.2001); Bowles v. State, 737 N.E.2d 1150, 1152 (Ind.2000); Jackson v. State, 735 ......
  • Hoglund v. State , No. 90S02–1105–CR–294.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 8, 2012
    ...The testimony of a sole child witness is sufficient to sustain a conviction for molestation. [962 N.E.2d 1239] Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 436 (Ind.2002). Also, as noted above, although Hoglund made a “continuing objection” to the vouching testimony of Dr. Butler, Tr. at 82, he made b......
  • Ward v. State, No. 49A02–1401–CR–25.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 15, 2014
    ...in original). Upon review, appellate courts do not reweigh the evidence or assess the credibility of the witnesses. Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 435 (Ind.2002). Indiana Code section 35–42–2–1 provides that “[a] person who knowingly or intentionally touches another person in a rude, ins......
  • Weathers v. State, No. 49A04–1601–CR–3.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 17, 2016
    ...in original). Upon review, appellate courts do not reweigh the evidence or assess the credibility of the witnesses. Stewart v. State, 768 N.E.2d 433, 435 (Ind.2002).29] Indiana Code section 35–47–2–1 provides that “a person shall not carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person'......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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