The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

March 12, 2013

Martin ‘Skip’ Ockomon fights to erase arrest record

Indiana Attorney General’s office opposes effort

ANDERSON, Ind. — Martin “Skip” Ockomon wants to clear his name of sexual misconduct allegations by having his arrest record expunged but has encountered opposition from the Indiana Attorney General’s office.

Ockomon was arrested twice because of the allegations. His lawyer, Bryan Williams, contends that because a statute of limitation had expired, charges never should have been filed against him, and a special prosecutor assigned to handle the case admitted as much.

Ockomon was reinstated as a firefighter with the Anderson Fire Department in September after charges of child molestation against him were dropped the second time.

The brother of former Mayor Kris Ockomon, Skip Ockomon was on paid administrative leave from the department while he fought allegations that he abused three of his stepdaughters between 1986 to 1998.

Williams said a court hearing set for Monday was postponed because a detective who was scheduled to testify could not attend.

Williams’ position is that the arrest records should be erased since there was no probable cause to bring charges in the first place.

However, Deputy Attorney General Henry A. Flores Jr. argued in case files that Ockomon’s request to expunge his record should be dismissed because he does not meet the legal criteria for that to occur.

Flores said only three reasons exist to justify erasure of charges: An individual is arrested but no criminal charges are filed, all charges are dropped because of mistaken identity, or no offense was committed or there was no probable cause.

In his request, Ockomon does not attempt to claim that he did not commit the offense or that this was a case of mistaken identity, Flores wrote.

Instead, Ockomon asserts his arrest record should be erased based upon a legal technicality. Specifically, an indication by the special prosecutor that charges were being dropped because the statute of limitations had run out and there was no probable cause to file charge, Flores said.

He added that Ockomon’s lawyers were attempting to merge two distinct concepts, probable cause and statute of limitations.

Ockomon was indicted by a grand jury, which is the legal entity that determines if there is probable cause to believe that the accused has committed a crime.

“It is elementary that an indictment may not be questioned on the grounds of insufficient evidence,” Flores wrote, quoting existing case law.

Ockomon’s attorney, Williams, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Madison Circuit Court 3 Senior Judge Carl Van Dorn is expected to issue a decision in the next couple of weeks on the question of whether Skip Ockomon should be added as a first-party defendant in a civil damages case that Ann Ockomon, wife of Kris Ockomon, has filed against Teresa Spencer.

Former Mayor Kris Ockomon was accused of sexually harassing Spencer, who filed a federal complaint. Spencer claimed Kris Ockomon tried to pursue an inappropriate relationship with her during his tenure as mayor.

Ann Ockomon is seeking damages in this civil case for alleged defaming claims made by Skip Ockomon and Spencer.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

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