INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday in the case of a Fort Wayne man caught using a shoe-camera to take up-skirt photos of girls at an Indianapolis mall in 2010.
David Delagrange was convicted in Marion County of four counts of attempted child exploitation after voyeurism charges were dismissed because of a technical glitch in the law.
Legislators later fixed the voyeurism statute, and Delagrange has appealed his child exploitation convictions.
He served his prison time, but if the convictions are reversed he would be let off probation and would not have to comply with the state sex offender registry.
The Indiana Court of Appeals in January tossed out the child exploitation convictions, saying the case didnt meet the technical wording of the charge. The ruling found because the statute under which he was convicted required participation by a child, it did not apply in his case.
Michael Borschel, attorney for Delagrange, told four Indiana Supreme Court justices Thursday that it should uphold the appellate decision.
Mr. Delagranges conduct was creepy but not criminal, he said, adding later, Hes a peeper, not a child pornographer.
J.T. Whitehead argued on behalf of the Indiana Attorney Generals Office that the legislative intent behind the statute is clear, and the Indiana Court of Appeals ruling creates absurd results.
For instance, he said if a child was drugged or asleep a person could not be convicted of sexual exploitation.
The justices, though, said they have to apply the plain meaning of the words. And several expressed concern that if a statute is found to be ambiguous they cant hold Delagrange criminally responsible.
A ruling is expected in the coming months.