Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

State News

March 19, 2014

Hoggsett announces decision that protects victims of domestic violence

Seventh Circuit rules that certain violations of Indiana's Domestic Battery Statute qualify as a "Violent Felony" Under the Armed Career Criminal Act

(Continued)

Johnson appealed his sentence. On February 26, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Johnson’s sentence, finding that Indiana’s domestic battery statute is a “violent felony.”

According to Assistant United States Attorneys MaryAnn T. Mindrum and Cynthia J. Ridgeway, who together prosecuted this case for the government and argued the government’s position on appeal, the public is now safe from Johnson, a violent armed career criminal, who will serve his fifteen year sentence in federal prison.

Hosting today’s announcement is the staff at the Julian Center, the largest domestic violence services provider and family justice center in Indiana. For more than 39 years, its mission has been to provide the services victims need to recover and build a life absent of abuse. The Julian Center provided invaluable testimony, research, and statistics at Johnson’s sentencing hearing as to dangers and risk to domestic violence victims, and broader testimony on the cycle of violence inherent in domestic battery offenses. Jennifer Reister, Director of Non-Residential Services at The Julian Center testified that “domestic violence is the number one nonfatal cause of injury to women in the United States.”

“We are grateful that our years of work with, and service to, victims of domestic violence allowed us to provide the expertise to support the Court’s finding,” said Catherine O’Connor, president and CEO of The Julian Center. “The work on this case is just one of the many ways we seek to serve victims throughout our community.”

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office further conveyed the impact of domestic battery on Hoosier victims by providing compelling statistical evidence at the sentencing hearing regarding the prevalence of domestic battery convictions in Marion County.

Also present for the announcement is Laura Berry, Executive Director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an advocacy group helping to prevent domestic violence. “The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has just concurred with our long held belief that felony domestic battery is a crime of violence and not just an interpersonal matter,” said Berry.

— Daily News

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