The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Cops, courts and fires

May 8, 2013

100-year sentence for child molester upheld

ANDERSON, Ind. — An Anderson man who received a 100-year sentence for molesting a girl over a period of four years had his appeal denied Tuesday.

Tracy Lawrence, 41, was convicted of two felony counts of child molestation for incidents spanning four years from 2007 to 2011. Lawrence was convicted and sentenced in May 2012, receiving two consecutive 50-year sentences for the charges.

The victim and her family accused Lawrence, who babysat the victim, of continually performing sexual acts with her starting when she was 5 years old. According to family members and police reports, the various acts ended only after an uncle interrupted Lawrence in another attempt to molest the victim on Oct. 26, 2011.

During the sentencing hearing, Lawrence hurled profanity-laced accusations against the victim, her family, Madison Circuit Court 3 Judge Thomas Newman, police and his own attorney Scott Webb. At one point during the hearing, Newman told Lawrence to be quiet, to which Lawrence replied, “What are you going to do? Give me another 100 years?”

Newman said at the time Lawrence’s courtroom behavior was one of the aggravating factors in the decision. Newman also determined Lawrence’s previous child molestation convictions and his role as a babysitter for the victim, which put him in a position of trust, should add to the severity of the sentence.

Lawrence and appellate attorney Christopher Cage argued the court misused the aggravating factors in sentencing and disputed the length of the sentence.

Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Terry Crone upheld the conviction, writing in his decision that Lawrence was abusive of nearly every person in the courtroom during sentencing and that he failed to appreciate the damage he’d done to the victim.

“Lawrence’s acts were both heinous and numerous,” Crone wrote. “Not only did he fail to show remorse, but he also mocked [the victim] and spewed vitriolic statements aimed at her family and the officers of the court.”

Crone also cited Lawrence’s criminal past and his unwillingness to take responsibility to change himself.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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