(INDIANAPOLIS) - A man who aimed a camera in his shoe up the skirts of teenage girls at Castleton Square Mall was convicted of attempted child exploitation.
David Barras, of WISH TV8 reports, now, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed that conviction.
In a 2 - 1 decision, the Appeals Court decided David Delagrange should have been found "not guilty" by the trial court. It comes down to the interpretation of a law that all involved say is poorly written.
"This man is walking around with cameras on his shoes. I think even to an unsophisticated observer is deviate sexual behavior," says Dr. Jennifer Drobac, professor of law at the IU McKinney School of Law.
In a 2 - 1 ruling the Appeals Court of Indiana reversed David Delagrange's conviction on attempted child exploitation for videotaping underneath the skirts of girls ages 15 - 17 years old.
It happened at the Castleton Square Mall in February 2010. Charges of voyeurism against Delagrange were dropped almost immediately because the law as written then, didn't fit what happened at the mall.
But Delagrange was convicted of four counts of attempted child exploitation. In reversing his conviction, the two majority justices said "the State presented no evidence the victims exhibited their genitals or intended to satisfy anyone's sexual desire," as required in the law.
"I think this interpretation opens the door for rampant abuse and I would call on the legislature to immediately redraft this in response if necessary," says Drobac.
Drobac agrees with the dissenting justice who wrote, "I cannot agree that sexual conduct by a child mandates any active participation by the child. Such an interpretation undermines the goal of the statute."
The Attorney General also agreed with the dissent, saying he will review the Appeals Court decision before deciding what he will do next. Michael Borschel, Delagrange's attorney said, "Our panel read the statute in its entirety and came up with the proper result."
The Attorney General can decide to ask for a hearing by the full appeals court, that can petition to transfer the case to the U.S. Supreme Court or can accept the decision.
The Delagrange case resulted in the state legislature changing the state's voyeurism law, to include a charge of "public voyeurism", that would fit the particulars of this case.
Delagrange was sentenced to serve six months in jail and his attorney tells 24-Hour News 8 he is out now, but is on probation.
Delagrange was also convicted of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. That was not reversed.
To read more on this story visit http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/crime/court-reverses-voyeurs-conviction
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