The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

March 31, 2014

Court denies appeal of child molest conviction

Robert Whipple sentenced to 35 years

ANDERSON – The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the 2013 conviction and 35-year sentence of Robert Whipple on child molestation charges.

The court denied Whipple’s appeal from Madison Circuit Court 6 on Monday.

Whipple was convicted on a Class A and Class C felony charges of child molesting involving a teenage relative. The molestation incidents took place between December 2009 and February 2010.

During the trial the victim testified that for many years Whipple would apply powder with a powder puff after she took a shower and that it escalated to include other sexual acts.

The Court of Appeals denied Whipple’s four appeals regarding denial by Judge Dennis Carroll for a directed verdict, mistrial, double jeopardy and the sufficiency of the evidence.

Whipple moved for a directed verdict based on the fact that the prosecution during his trial failed to establish that he was at least 21 years of age.

The judges noted that the local court took judicial notice of Whipple’s age as being in the late 70s, a fact that was not disputed.

The victim testified that she had known Whipple for 10 years from the age of 3 or 4 and the molestations took place when she was under the age of 14.

“There is nothing to suggest that the (victim's) grandmother married a pre-pubescent boy,” the court ruling states.

Whipple’s appeal for a mistrial came following the jury deliberations when a juror made a comment to attorneys during an informal meeting that they wanted to hear comments from Whipple.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the juror’s post-verdict comment had no significant impact on the case.

Concerning the double-jeopardy appeal, the court determined there was more than one incident of child molestation and that the jury didn’t use the same evidence in both convictions.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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