Lebo v. State

977 N.E.2d 1031 (2012)

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Lebo v. State

Indiana Court of Appeals
977 N.E.2d 1031 (2012)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Robert Ashcraft was the junior varsity volleyball coach at LaPorte High School. Marybeth Lebo (plaintiff), the varsity volleyball coach, was Ashcraft’s supervisor. Between August 2007 and October 2008, Ashcraft sexually abused K.T., a minor volleyball player. Lebo both personally observed and received reports about multiple instances of inappropriate conduct between Ashcraft and K.T.; however, Lebo failed to report the suspected child sexual abuse. Instead, Lebo directed her volleyball players not to tell anyone about Ashcraft’s inappropriate behavior with K.T. In October 2008, Ashcraft resigned from the school. Ashcraft was subsequently investigated, charged, and convicted for sexual conduct with a minor. After Ashcraft’s arrest, the Indiana State Police started investigating whether Lebo knew about the sexual abuse. In October 2010, the state police submitted an investigation report to the prosecutor’s office indicating that Lebo knew Ashcraft was abusing K.T. but failed to report the abuse. Lebo, as a high school coach, was a mandated reporter. In September 2011, the State of Indiana (defendant) charged Lebo with failure to report child abuse, a misdemeanor. Lebo moved to dismiss, arguing that (1) the two-year statute of limitations for misdemeanors had expired; and (2) the state failed to prove Lebo had reason to believe Ashcraft had been abusing K.T. The state countered, arguing that the statute of limitations did not apply because (a) Lebo concealed the abuse; and (b) failure to report child abuse is a continuing offense. The trial court denied Lebo’s motion to dismiss. Lebo appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bradford, J.)

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