Appeals court upholds maximum sentence for child molester

2014-05-27T14:53:00Z 2014-05-28T01:13:07Z Appeals court upholds maximum sentence for child molesterDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | A Porter County man convicted of Class C child molesting and sentenced to the maximum -- eight years in prison -- failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he deserves a shorter prison term.

Jackie Robson, 50, was found guilty in July of fondling a fifth-grade girl on multiple occasions in 2008 and 2009 while she was a visitor in his Liberty Township home.

The jury could not reach unanimous verdicts on two additional child molesting charges involving another fifth-grade girl and a girl two years younger. A mistrial was declared on those counts and Robson has not been recharged, according to court records.

In his appeal, Robson argued Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford was wrong to issue the maximum sentence because "the conduct was brief and it was the absolute least that could occur to violate the statute" and that "anything less and there would be no crime."

Robson added that despite being required to register as a sex offender -- following a 2009 conviction for performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor -- he is not among the worst of the worst and deserving of the most serious punishment.

The appeals court disagreed.

It ruled 3-0 on Monday that Robson's criminal record, which also includes a federal conviction for the illegal sale of a machine gun, and his willingness to violate a young child, who now displays anger issues and requires therapy, justifies the lengthy prison term.

In addition, the court noted Robson's assessment score on the state's presentencing test indicates he is a high risk to re-offend.

"After due consideration of the trial court's decision, we cannot say that Robson has met his burden of showing that the sentence imposed by the trial court is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character," Appeals Judge Elaine Brown said.

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