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State v IT

3-12-2014 Indiana:

State v I.T.

I.T., who admitted to conduct that would be a Class B felony child molesting if committed by an adult, was ordered by the trial court to undergo therapeutic polygraph examinations. During one of those exams, I.T. admitted to molesting two other children.

Based on those statements, the State filed a new delinquency petition. I.T. moved to dismiss the petition, arguing that the Juvenile Mental Health Statute, which bars a child’s statement to a mental health evaluator from being admitted into evidence to prove delinquency, barred the State’s evidence.

The trial court granted the motion. The State appealed.

The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the State may appeal a juvenile court order that suppresses evidence if doing so terminates the proceeding; and (2) the Statute’s limited immunity prohibits both use and derivative use of a juvenile’s statements to prove delinquency.

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